Artist Sculptor Rachel Carter works from her garden studio on the Derbyshire / Nottinghamshire border, creating large scale sculpture for the garden and smaller intimate sculptures for the home.
Over the Eleven years of my professional practice since graduating with a BA Hons in Applied Arts, I have found myself driven by process and material in sculpture. In 2012 I was selected by Yorkshire Sculpture Park to show my hand woven work alongside Jaume Plensa in the Kyiv Botanical Gardens, Ukraine, an achievement I am very proud of.
My sculptural work often features abstract fluid or geometric shapes that take inspiration from the patterns found in nature. With each sculpture I apply hand weaving techniques to various materials such as wax, wire, paper and cord. Changing materials but applying the same process to it can vastly change the outcome, and it is this play with shape, form and texture that holds a particular interest.
Repetition features heavily in my work, this could be the process of applying multiple identical lengths of material onto a frame to create surface pattern, or in the creation of an installation made from many identical forms. Hand processes such as weaving, knotting & tying, crochet and even corn dollie weaves have allowed that repetition to flourish to a point where my hands can almost sculpt independently of thought.
Challenges push me in some interesting directions, underpinned by my love of research, history and hand processes. I fill endless notebooks questioning stages and noting progress, sketching is a large feature of this creative process.
Rachel Carter creates woven sculptural pieces that demand a second look - and touch - from the viewer. The organic shapes are not crafted from willow as they appear, but using a method with wax the artist has developed to create the swirling, spherical monuments in Bronze.
Fluid shapes and geometric patterns found in nature have been translated through Carter’s signature swirling weave using a range of techniques including crochet, basketry and macrame. The methods the artist once used with willow are now immortalised in breath-taking bronze; her unique process ensuring that every creation is an original, one-off piece.
In fact, in 2013 Carter became the first artist to weave in wax to create bronze sculptures using her wax method. Originally exhibited at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the first bronze piece can now be seen sitting within the Derwent Valley. Since then Rachel has been developing the wax weaving method further, experimenting with new resistant materials and methods of casting - that in some cases have not been used for thousands of years - to push the craft as far as it can go.
Text taken from Artist Profiles, Inside Artist magazine 2015
A short video introducing Rachel Carter made for the Webinart Graduate series 2018.