I had a blast visiting Rachel Boston Jewellery at her London studio near Hatton garden. A lot of things made the visit special (Rachel, the jewelry…) but I have to be honest and say that Betty stole the show. And who’s Betty, you might ask… Well, as Rachel calls her, Betty is her toy poodle and sidekick. And I may add that both Rachel and Betty are the cutest and the most photogenic jewelry team I had the pleasure to photograph.
I’ve been following Rachel Boston’s work for some time now. Since the beginning that I was attracted to the balance between edginess and traditional styles that she features in her work. The outcome is a perfect modern piece of jewelry with extreme attention to detail and perfect goldsmith technique. So you can understand how excited I was to see Rachel’s studio and her jewelry in person. As I love edgy pieces of jewelry of course that I was eager to check Rachel’s “The Protector” collection, filled with reinterpreted beetles and scorpions, with a very sophisticated and rock & roll vibe. And of course that these pieces were absolutely amazing! Plus I got a superb treat to get a chance to see Rachel’s actual stock of real beetles, porcupine spines and animal skulls (check the photos below to see the amazing specimens she has). And as much as I love Boston’s first collections I have to say that I was smitten by her new collection “Runes” and forage into fine jewelry. I love not only the mechanisms behind the hinged rings, but the whole delicate and sharp idea behind each piece and the use of diamonds with it.
(in the meantime it has been such a long time since my studio visit and the publishing of this post that Rachel has actually came up with a new collection that features diamond slices called “Cosmos” which you can check on her website here.)
Rachel shares her studio space with 3 other designers, one of them that I also love and was featured here. Around the space you can see a lot of framed scientific prints that Rachel has been collecting over the years. In a corner of the studio there are the cases she built specifically for the exhibition “Made in London: Jewellery now” at the Museum of London. Her bench is a fun place, not only because it has this amazing inspiration board that catches the eye but also because there are plenty of interesting objects laying around: a hand, a robot and a female body torso that holds burs. Rachel reaches inside some of her drawers and starts showing me her collection of beetles and other specimens. I have to say that the beetles are particularly beautiful because of the green iridescence. Under some boxes you can find Betty’s crate, even though I’m pretty sure that she jumps on Rachel’s lap when she’s sitting at the bench.
The whole studio is a gem, very organized for a place that gets used by 4 designers. I have to say that Rachel’s decor items give it a special touch and having Betty around just makes the space more fun. I want to thank Rachel for a wonderful visit and for letting me snoop around her studio. And ok, for letting me play with Betty as well! I’m gonna follow up her studio visit with a behind the scenes post, where you can see how much fun Rachel, Michelle Oh and Betty are at the studio. And I have to say that you may get jealous of such a fun, creative studio environment… just a word of caution
Oh, and I have to tell you that it took such a long time to publish this post (mea culpa) that Rachel has moved her studio from Hatton Garden to Hackney, where they now have a luxurious big space and (prepare yourselves) a rooftop deck to hang out for inspiration. If you don’t believe me just check her instagram and die of jealousy wit the photos! Next time I’m London I know where I’m going to hang out.
Rachel Boston Jewellery
What do you like most about your space?
“we get a lot of light in the studio which makes a big difference”
Any pets in the space?
“Betty, my toy poodle and sidekick”
Pick 3 things in your studio that make your space yours
” – The cabinets in the corner which were used in my Museum of London exhibition;
– the old scientific prints i’ve collected from flea markets;
– the CASH FOR GOLD TEETH print which I still find funny.”
What’s your favorite spot in the studio?
“I like doing laptop work at the table by the window”
Any studio rituals?
“There’s always music or podcasts on, I can’t handle silence when I’m doing bench work”
What do you love and hate doing at the bench?
“I love making new pieces, working on one off engagement rings. I get quite bored if I’m cleaning up a lot of castings and it’s very repetitive”
What makes you procrastinate?
“Talking with my studio mates and playing with Betty”
What piece of jewelry do you always wear?
“my scorpion sting necklace from my first collection”
Piece of jewelry you’re most proud of?
“I’m very proud of the diamond hinged ring from my new collection. The mechanism works perfectly and it always gets a lot of attention”
What’s your dream jewelry piece?
“I’d like to work with some massive stones and create something totally impractical and show-stopping. Something a Maharaja would have worn.”
The best thing a client ever told you?
“I had a client which had been looking for a 21st birthday present with her mom for 4 years but they both had not been able to choose something they both liked. They chose my scorpion sting necklace after seeing it because the mother liked it because she thought it was classic and the daughter liked it because she thought it was rock & roll. It’s a balance between the two I’ve always wanted to find with my work.”
The funnies thing a client ever told you?
“A client once had a ring confiscated at the airport security – one of the beetle rings! Now I warn people not to wear the big pieces to the airport.”
If you weren’t a jewelry designer?
“I’d love to be an archeologist or an explorer”