“For as long as I can remember, I painted and created art, not only is it an important part of my life but is truly who I am, all my creations are a part of me.”
Rachel Murphy was born in Christchurch but moved when she was a child to Holland with her family for a couple of years, arriving back in NZ to Auckland, Rachel grew up in idyllic Titirangi - in the Waitakere Ranges of Auckland.
As a young adult Rachel lived for a time in Sydney, Australia and then Scotland, she still feels a strong connection to the land, architecture and people of Scotland.
Mostly self taught, Rachel works predominately in porcelain slip casting. Whilst studying a Bachelor of Design, she learned the basic technique of Slip casting from Jo Nuttall - Glass casting Artist in Auckland. Much of Rachel’s skills have been developed over time, through successes and failures and in the case of Gilding, many years of practice.
After 15 years Designing furniture and interiors, with the creation of art as a hobby, it was not until 2012 that Rachel decided to concentrate on ceramics and then in 2014 become a full time artist. Her work is therefore influenced by her design background, through form and in the domestic pieces - functionality.
Rachel considers herself a student of nature and is constantly in awe of the subtleties and extremes of land, sea and air. Her creative process often begins with observations on a walk in the bush or on rugged west coast beaches.
Rachel has lived in Canterbury and Otago, in the last few years but has moved back to the Waitakere Ranges, Auckland.
Slip casting: The use of plaster moulds and porcelain slip (essentially a watery porcelain clay), slip is poured into the mould, which absorbs the water content, the slip is poured out and a layer of clay is left. Rachel often mixes stain colour into the slip and applies decoration to the inside of the mould before pouring the final base colour. This technique is fairly complex, as it involves painting the design in a negative space, in reverse. The first painted colours on the mould will be the highlights, that are then covered by the next colour put on, you need to have a great spatial awareness and memory.
The beauty of this method is that the colour is not just on the surface but part of the body of the piece and can be left unglazed as a matt colour.
Rachel's domestic ware, such as bowls are fine porcelain and some have a beautiful transparency, when you hold them up to the light. The gilded pieces have a layer of 24k Gold leaf applied to the interior with a specialist lacquer and then second layer of gold.
There is great skill, technical expertise and precision required in acheiving such delicate, fine pieces.
Crafted by Hand
Live with Beauty everyday!
Rachel's - Live with Beauty everyday
Rachel believes in creating tranquil and imaginative spaces, that are uncluttered and free from ugly things that don't need to be on display.
"Rather than filling spaces completely, with lots of knick knacks, try having just a few beautiful pieces that give the eye treasures to fall on."
In this way you too can Live with Beauty everyday!