I am Rachel, the designer-maker at ROCWORX, a marble artist and leatherworker. I live in a rural community, working in a small studio-workshop in South Devon, between the moors and the beach. With a background and love of textile art, sewing, printing and creative art, I work with a variety of textiles; veg-tanned leather, sheepskin, goatskin, wool, vintage denim and organic cork, linen and oilskin.
ROCWORX was born from a desire to create beautiful, simple, yet practical items, to wear and use in the home.
Each item is hand-crafted, using traditional tools, heritage-craft techniques and ethically-sourced materials.
I use materials that are often by-products of other industries, or made from recycled materials, repurposed, offering an eco-conscious and environmental solution to landfill waste. I use materials that are compostable at the end of their life and my metal hardware is fully recyclable. I have a zero waste philosophy, so I will incorporate the waste material from larger items into smaller designs, jewellery and artwork.
My leather goods are designed with consideration, to value the life given, turning a food by-product into exceptional, quality leather goods. I hand cut, hand stitch and hand assemble every piece. Each item has my brand, which assures authentic, British craftsmanship.
Marbling is a heritage craft and, although trained in traditional Turkish and Japanese techniques, I now prefer a more organic outcome, where I allow the inks to move in the moment, manipulating them to settle in abstract, nature inspired patterns. As well as marbling paper, card and glass, I incorporate marbling into my textile fabrics and art work.
Each art event I participate in, supports a charity. In addition, a portion of my sales will support the following charities:
St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth, an independent charity providing specialist advice and support to people with progressive life-limiting illnesses.
TRAYE, Totnes Rural Area Youth Engagement Project, uses art as part of its enrichment programme.
RNLI, Saving lives, volunteer lifeboat crews provide a 24-hour rescue service in the UK and Ireland.
Incorporating sustainable practices in my business has meant small changes are making a big difference, so I do not print on paper, but save documents digitally. I also use a green energy provider and I'm installing energy efficient heating, lighting and wool insulation in my new workshop. I use green packaging, manufactured in the UK.
My items are carefully wrapped in acid free tissue, then cardboard roll, box or bubble paper and finally in water-resistant waxed paper. I use hand made paper, linen ribbons and hand made gift cards for my gift wrapping service.
I also support tree planting, so a portion of my profits goes towards a tree being planted each year. Our family planted 6 trees in 2021.
New designs are being created for my collections for home decor, lighting, soft furnishings and home accessories
I am working on a number of commissions and collaborations, as well as the development of home craft kits and workshops to experience and learn about the heritage craft of leather work and marbling, both planned for next year.
Do get in touch if you would like to learn more about these heritage crafts or have a commission you would like to discuss.