Rachel's path to weaving was of fortunate misfortune. Her undergraduate studies were at the School of Art Institute of Chicago. With every intention of becoming a painter, she was disheartened to hear that the freshman painting classes were full when she enrolled. Her clever adviser, against Rachel's wishes, placed her in "Intro to Fibers" in the Fiber and Material Studies Department. Reluctantly, with visions of her grandmother sitting in her recliner tediously embroidering a sampler and Alex Trebek announcing another daily double dancing in her mind, Rachel attended the class that would forever change her passions as an artist. She describes leaving the class mesmerized by weaving and "it became a deep and personal love".
Like so many who have found a home in the textile world, Rachel describes the "physical process" and "tactile result" of weaving satisfying in a way that she had not experienced in other media. Her desire to paint stemmed from the availability of materials, but her successes with weaving brought her a new understanding of her creative strengths and challenged her in a way that paint could not.
In addition to beginning her studies at Philadelphia University, Rachel has started an assistantship at the university's Paley Design Center. Access to an archive of over 200,000 textiles and costumes is almost positively "the definition of designer heaven" says Rachel. Everyday she is met with the opportunity to grow as designer by caring for the life and preservation of these textiles. Then jaunt across the street to her loom. Speaking of the program at Philadelphia University with the wonder and excitement of a kid in a candy store, Rachel describes the Jacquard looms as her "best friend".
In her professional life, Rachel is the owner and creator of Weaver House Co. . After an artist residency in Peru, Rachel sought an opportunity to maintain creative freedom and continue weaving as a full-time job, not a secondary hobby for occasional moments with long lapses in love. She planned, sacrificed, and eventually set up shop. Bringing back with her a "curated selection of antique Peruvian textile," she put her background in textile conservation and entrepreneurial drive to work and a few months later was able to put out a line of handwoven rug rags.
We are so excited to welcome Rachel to Philadelphia University's Textile Design Program.
Make an appointment to visit her and the Paley Design Center at firstname.lastname@example.org