Meet Rachel Quelch
Artist – Antler Witch Designs
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/antlerwitchdesigns
1.How did you get started in jewellery design?
I have just started making jewelry actually. I grew up on a quarter section in the hills of Riding Mountain MB. The land there is healing, magical and inspiring. Its hard not to create things when you are there.
2.Do you have a method, source, or tool you look to use for inspiring your designs?
My dad and I spent a lot of time out in nature. We would saddle up our horses and go for rides. On these adventures we would find antlers and put them in our saddle bags. At that time, antler was going for $15/lb (now $20+ depending on colour, freshness and size). We would sell some and keep some. He has made a couple chandeliers from deer antler and now is working on one with elk. He has inspired me to make jewelry. I like to combine antler with rough cut, raw crystal. Preferably the quartz family. I have also been using lot of Labradorite. Anything that has a beautiful shimmer or glow.
3.How often do you work on your jewellery designs?
I work on my jewelry any chance i get. I am so busy! I have a small eco friendly cleaning business called, Gotta Bee Green Cleaning, which takes up my days, and I have my band, Madeira, which takes up 2 nights out of the week for practice. When i get to work on jewelry its definitely a treat.
4.How would you describe your design style or technique?
When I make jewelry, I only create things that I would wear. This obviously creates separation anxiety when i do sell something haha. I have always had a love for fantasy, so I like to make designs that represent power amulets or anything a sorceress would wear. I like to premeditate a raw idea of what I want to use and how I want the piece to look, but I find it’s best not to be too particular because you kind of have to work with what you have and let the piece come together when working with raw organic materials like antler and crystal.
5.Do you work in any other mediums besides jewellery design?
I have helped my dad make chandeliers but that is more his project and I wouldn’t take any credit for that. I am more a musician than anything. Madeira is my life right now. We are a mash up with our sound. Both the guys have been in metal bands and I have been a blues/folk song writer as far as our musical roots go. We have established what I would call an occult rock feel. Its heavy, dreamy, eerie and melodic.
6.What is your favorite medium to work with and why?
Obviously my favorite medium to work with would be antler because it is what has inspired me to create jewelry in the first place. I love how it comes in so many different shapes and colours. i prefer to work with the points. They have great movement and are the best to make statement pieces. When i have used all the points on an antler, I like to make earrings by making angle cut “slices” of antler. My favorite crystal to use lately is a clear quarts. It gives the piece a really glamorous “snow witch” feel.
7.What is your favorite jewellery trend right now?
My favorite jewelry trends right now would be anything occult or mystical. Viles with plant material and crystal pendants for example. I am also a fan of big chunky biker style rings, like skulls, eagles goatheads and big chunky crystals with ornate metal work. I also love vintage. Who doesn’t really? I adore those pretty crystal hair pins. These were first created in the Victorian period and had been recreated in the 1920s and 1950’s. You have to look for them in antique stores. They’re hard to come by and are expensive but when you find them its like the holy grail of hair accessories.
8.If you could pick one person living or not to wear your jewellery, who would it be and why?
If I could pick a person living or dead to wear my jewelry it would be strong independent women. Whether it is a warrior activist fighting pipelines from invading her land and poisoning her drinking water, or a single mother raising and providing for her family, I want them to wear my jewelry because they inspire me.
9.Whats next? What are you working on right now?
Right now I have some really beautiful dark antler that I would like to combine with some Labradorite. I want to start doing more metal work so I can make more capped and bezel pendants as well.
10.Tell us one fun fact about yourself.
One fun fact about me would be that I do support work for teenage girls. I love introducing them to the arts. Whether it be jewelry, drawing/painting or music. All of the above are healing and healthy for the soul. If i can steer these girls in a positive direction through art, that’s my greatest accomplishment.