For quite a while now, I have been a big admirer of Rachel Albright and the amazing work that she produces. Owner of Academy, editor at Need Supply Co. and co-founder of the Community Artist Collective in Richmond, this gal is an entrepreneur and an all around badass. I have an immense respect for her kindness, talent, passion and personal style. It was such a privilege to work on this month's Pennyweight Goods marbled shapes mobile together, and I hope you love it as much as I do.
You have a background in art and art history, how has that influenced your work today?
Art is always my biggest influence, and I'm a big art history nut. I get really obsessive over a certain artist or genre and everything I do revolves around it for a while, and then I move on to someone or something else and do it again. Last season, it was offbeat sculpture and installation art - I was looking at Natalie Rognsøy, Langdon Graves, and Matthew Ronay - Before that, I was really into Alexander Calder. Everything I'm making now is about Richard Serra and other environmental artists, like Christo & Jeanne-Claude and Andy Goldsworthy. Also Donald Judd - I want to make bigger things now.
From jewelry to home goods, tell us a little bit more about your design process. How long does a piece typically take from start to finish?
It can vary from an hour to a few days for a single piece. I'm not formally trained in many of the materials I work with, which is sometimes frustrating but mostly really refreshing. It makes everything a bit more challenging, but also doesn't tie me down to a traditional way of using materials or looking at things. I spend a lot of time planning and learning with each piece - how to create this shape I want, how to make different materials and surfaces work together, how to find the right balance between form and function.
I keep hearing how amazing Richmond, Virginia is... Do your location and surroundings inspire your design and work?
Richmond is really incredible. We have a great art museum, and a nationally-renowed art school that produces a lot of young talent. There's this nice balance between being a relaxed Southern city and an energetic place full of people that want to really do things. I've been all over, but I'm still happiest here and make my best work here.
You've got great style and an enviable job at Need Supply Co. Where else are some of your favorite places to shop? Favorite designers or artists? Do you read any blogs or websites on a regular basis?
Thanks! I love Totokaelo and La Garconne, I also frequent Mohawk General Store. When I'm in New York, I go to Assembly and Joinery. I also have a lot of super talented friends and like to wear things they make that are usually one-of-a-kind and really cool. I have so many favorite designers - the top of my list is Brook&Lyn, Building Block, and Fort Standard. Recently I'm very into Heather Levine, Ana Kras, Doug Johnston, who all elevate functional objects into art pieces. My favorite blogs right now are you have been here sometime and Sight Unseen.
Where did the inspiration for this Pennyweight Goods piece come from?
It started with the clay - I became obsessed with this fleshy-beige colored clay. The marbled color is really fun to make and always turns out differently. It was inspired by two things: my favorite pants, hand-marbled silk by Ilana Kohn, and paper that my friend Eric marbled with blue ink for a project we worked on together.
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Pennyweight Goods is a curated shop, featuring small batches of beautiful pieces from various makers around the world. The site will be updated on a monthly basis, but be sure to sign up for the newsletter so you don't miss anything.