Rachelle Eason… artist in progress.
That’s what I consider myself and, actually, all of us. I truly believe Life is a Work of Art, so aren’t we all artists in progress?
Pottery has been a part of my life ever since I was a little artist taking lessons at the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh. The idea of taking a lump of clay and sculpting it to whatever my imagination and hands would do in unison was so magical to me. It still is! I have two pieces from my younger days that I cherish…a “uniquely” shaped pencil cup made at The Ellis School when I was in primary school and a wonky shaped water pitcher I made in graduate school at Converse College. Both pieces represent steps in my journey that ended up taking me to owning a retail pottery studio in North Carolina where I shared my love of clay with others when I taught them handbuilding and wheel throwing.
Jump to early 2008, when I was given some raw wool just sheared from a sheep at a friend’s farm. Not knowing what I was getting into, I spent days cleaning the matter out of just a small portion of the bags I was given. We lived on a fabulous farm in North Carolina and had persimmon trees around our horse pasture.
I knew of persimmon dye and thought I could stick some persimmons, leaves, and water in a pot, throw the wool in, and watch it all come together to create a gorgeous golden dye bath. Boy, was I wrong. The wool got all tangled and the water was just not changing colors. I boiled for a while and then turned down the heat to let it sit. Still nothing.
Out of pure frustration, I grabbed a piece of paper off my studio table and a rock and put it down in the pot in hopes that the paper would stop the wool from matting and tangling, while the rock would press it all together. Not a chance, but…
The paper started to stain! Not like what I do now, of course, but enough to let me know that the persimmons didn’t have enough pigment to make a dye bath but just enough to stain paper that it was pressed against.
I dabbled with it a little, trying varying plants from our farm and different papers. Soon after I opened a retail “do-it-yourself” art studio and my time was focused on my growing business, Art Blooms.
In my Florida studio, I gave myself time to focus, grow, develop, and adventure into the world of Boiled Books. Through research and a lot of trial and error, I started to understand the science as well as the art of the technique. Seasons when the plants are harvested effects the boiled outcome. Areas of the country and, of course, differences that naturally occur in plant families make a difference. I soon discovered that the combination of plants I put together makes a huge difference.
Those years devoted to my BoiLeD BooKs journey gave me time to create my own line of stationary and create a fabulous collection. Since I was invited to sell my BoiLeD BooKs art at EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Earth Day celebration, my art is loved by collectors all over the world.
My artsy journey is taking me full circle and back to clay. I have been invited to present my pottery at Disney along with my BoiLed BooKs collection. Both mediums are created with a foundation of plant elements I get to harvest from the Disney Nursery and the greenhouses at Living with the Land at EPCOT.
Unearthed Art Studios, LLC has been created to encompass BoiLeD BooKS, Pottery, and to pay honor to nature. Unearthed is to reveal what is hidden. Unearthing is exposing what is hidden in clay as I sculpt and throw it on the wheel. Unearthing is revealing the natural stains of plants as I combine elements to pull out their natural colors. Unearthing is discovering what lies within me as I journey through this wondrous life.
December 2015 Lakelander Made – publication
MakerFaire Orlando 2015 – Educator Pick and Featured Exhibitor; 2 Blue Ribbons!