Inspired by T&T: The works of Rachel Rochford

By Marsha Pearce Sunday, February 17th, 2013 Categories: Reports, Updates
 

Rachel Rochford is one of Trinidad and Tobago’s up-and-coming jewelry designers. She has been designing and creating such personal adornments as necklaces and earrings for the past three years. “I first started making jewelry for myself because I wanted unique big earrings that would be striking and also visible against all the curls of my natural hair,” Rochford said. She works with an array of materials including paper, twine, rope, ribbon, wood, brass, copper, silver-plated and gold-plated metals.

Rachel Amy Rochford

Rachel Amy Rochford

She taps into the unique character of these materials so that their different qualities inform the final look and spirit of her products. Rochford draws inspiration from the world around her—in particular, she finds visual stimulation from Trinidad and Tobago. “Anything can inspire me, from a painted line in a car park to the shape of a wilted flower on the side of the pavement,” she said. The chain link fences that are part of our architectural environment influenced her first necklace collection, entitled the Chain Link Series 2012. Her latest collection, which is inspired by the human body, is called Akimbo. The title piece of this collection is a pair of earrings fashioned to echo a standing figure with arms akimbo, in other words, with hands on the hips and elbows turned outward.

Right: ROCHFORD JEWELLERY 2013, Akimbo, silver plated rose gold colour wire earrings Left: ROCHFORD JEWELLERY 2012, Multi Coloured Ribbon Chain Link Necklace

Right: ROCHFORD JEWELLERY 2013, Akimbo, silver plated rose gold colour wire earrings
Left: ROCHFORD JEWELLERY 2012, Multi Coloured Ribbon Chain Link Necklace

For this new series of jewelry, Rochford makes a connection between her approach to designing and her practice as a painter. The human figure has been a recurring feature in the work of this designer/artist who has been painting professionally for the past 12 years. She applies what she has learned about the human body—more specifically, what she has learned about T&T body language—to her jewelry creations. “I have been studying the gestures and attitudes of the Trinbagonian for several years in my paintings and drawings. The fluidity of the lines from my artwork have been abstracted and translated into wire earrings,” said Rochford.

It is this sharp eye or capacity for observing Trinidad and Tobago closely—a way of seeing honed in her art making—that she brings to her jewelry design process.

Top: ROCHFORD JEWELLERY 2012, Red, Black and White Rope Chain Link Necklace |  Bottom: ROCHFORD JEWELLERY 2013, Kneeling, silver plated wire earrings

Top: ROCHFORD JEWELLERY 2012, Red, Black and White Rope Chain Link Necklace | Bottom: ROCHFORD JEWELLERY 2013, Kneeling, silver plated wire earrings

About the Artist

Rachel Rochford holds a first-class honours bachelor’s degree in fine art from the University of Reading in the UK. She lectures part-time in ceramics at the Department of Creative and Festival Arts, the University of the West Indies, St Augustine. To see more of her work, visit www.rachelamyrochford.com

 

For original post visit the Trinidad Guardian.

Marsha Pearce
Marsha Pearce

Marsha Pearce is ARC’s Senior Arts Writer and Editor. She holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from the University of the West Indies (UWI) St Augustine Campus, Trinidad. She lectures in the Department of Creative and Festival Arts at UWI and is also a freelance arts writer for the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian newspaper. Pearce is the 2006 Rhodes Trust Rex Nettleford Cultural Studies Fellow.