Marble Artist + Leatherworker

Rated 5 out of 5
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England 07592640326

Rachel O'Connell is the artist behind ROCWORX, a marbling artist, who combines her skills as a leatherworker with marbling to create contemporary designed accessories, artwork, books, home decor, lighting and vessels. Rachel marbles on handmade paper, vintage paper, textiles, including leather and silk, ceramics, glass and wood Marbling is an endangered Heritage Craft, so she offers workshop experience days to children and adults to inspire future generations to practice this craft. With a zero waste philosophy, Rachel uses sustainable and compostable materials, incorporating repurposed synthetic textile, using waste offcuts from larger projects, all saved from landfill. Her handmade books, include hand made paper, which uses up leather, thread and seeds and flowers from her garden and walks in the Devon countryside.

Our products/services

Creating marbled items for the home including artwork, aprons, lighting, soft furnishings, paper stationery and vessels. Commissions always welcome.


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Hours of business


Opens Monday at 10:00

  • Monday10:00 - 16:00
  • Tuesday10:00 - 16:00
  • Wednesday10:00 - 16:00
  • Thursday10:00 - 16:00
  • Friday10:00 - 16:00

Story and ethos

I am Rachel, the designer-maker at ROCWORX, a marble artist, leatherworker and bookbinder. I live in a rural community, working in a small studio-workshop in South Devon, nestled in the valley of a small rural village, between the moors and the beach. With a background and love of textile art, sewing, printing and creative art, I marble on a variety of textiles; veg-tanned leather, sheepskin, goatskin, organic cork, silk and linen. I work with wool, vintage denim and oilskin in my soft furnishings and bags. I also marble on paper, ceramics, recycled glass and FSC wood. ROCWORX began from a desire to create marbled items to wear and use in the home, to share this beautiful heritage craft in contemporary designs, adding a pop of abstract colour to home decor.

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. My materials 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, with some textiles being used in my hand made paper. My marbled signage uses laser cut FSC wood affixed to reclaimed local timber, and is used for weddings, parties and as name plates. I source my silk from mill warehouses, saving it from shredding. 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 an endangered heritage craft, on the Heritage Crafts Red List and I am one of less than 20 professional marbling artists in the UK, the only one to marble and work with leather. I have trained in both traditional Turkish and Japanese Suminagashi techniques, using both in my artwork and products and now incorporate marbling in my leatherwork, making each item unique. Marbling is affected by temperature and humidity, so when marbling I work quickly, enjoying the diversity of the patterns produced. I mix my own paints, inks and add grated charcoal, melted crayon, pencil shavings and gold leaf for textural interest in my artwork. I choose papers from traditional paper makers, most of which are hand made and use cotton, recycled from the textiles industry. My own hand made paper used in my artwork, includes my waste offcuts of paper, linen threads, marbled linen, cotton, cork and leather.

Each art event I participate in, supports a charity. In addition, a portion of my sales will support a number of local and National charities. As a small business, incorporating sustainable practices in my business, has meant small changes are making a big difference. For instance, I do not print on paper, but save documents digitally. Invitations and brochures for exhibitions and events are now sent digitally. Although much of my work uses hand tools, the energy I use for machine stitching, heating and lighting is from a green energy provider. I'm planning to install energy efficient heating, lighting and insulation in my our workshop being built in 2023. I use green packaging, manufactured in the UK. I am working with suppliers, to encourage them to offer green packaging when delivering my materials. 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, wish to book a workshop, or have a commission you would like to discuss.



Rated 5 out of 5
4 August 2022

We were amazed by the delicacy of this work. Each piece is original in colour and design. Lovely gift. Thank you.

Judith and Joe

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