Rachel Bremner is a contemporary jeweller and mosaic artist from Tasmania. Previously, Rachel worked as a professional violinist in the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra until about 5 years ago, when she decided to focus on her other passion, contemporary mosaic.
Rachel spent 10 years teaching herself mosaic artistry before her practice became more focussed, which prompted her to travel to Italy and the US to participate in professionally taught mosaic courses. These courses have given Rachel the skills to run a successful studio-based practice at home. Rachel now exhibits her mosaics nationally and internationally and has been awarded several exhibition prizes, public art commissions, and study grants. Rachel’s mosaic work has also been featured in the internationally distributed magazine Craft Arts International and the French publication Mosaique Magazine.
Rachel’s journey to jewellery making began about 5 years ago when she took a metal forming workshop taught by Thomas Mann. Since then she has expanded her experimentation at home. In 2018, Rachel signed up for a comprehensive course with Shauna Mayben, hoping to gain the skills that would allow her to combine her mosaic art into jewellery. After participating in a few more courses, Rachel’s jewellery practice flourished.
Rachel has many creative heroes she looks up to, including Patrick Hall (artist), Helen Garner (writer), Toyoharu Kii (Japanese mosaic artist) and Phillipe Jarroussky (French countertenor). We were initially surprised by the variety of creatives she listed, although it makes perfect sense that a mosaic artist, who brings together dissimilar parts to create a complementary whole, would be inspired by a mélange of artists.
When asked to describe her work in three words, Rachel answered with “Part of me”. Rachel is constantly inspired to create. “There is so much going on in my head all the time”, she said. “Creating helps me make sense of the world, myself, my loved ones, life! It is a way of expressing what is inside me and connecting with people without having to use words. It is my way of meditating.”When we asked Rachel about advice she can give to other makers, she responded, “The first person you have to surprise is yourself.”
Rachel’s favourite tool is her Italian mosaic hammer and her favourite part of the jewellery making process is soldering. When discussing the challenges of her jewellery practice, Rachel mused, “Because I am fairly new to it, I still find all of it challenging and technical. I hope once I improve my technical skills that there will be more freedom and possibility in what I make.”
We adore Rachel’s contemporary mosaic jewellery and are very excited to have her exhibiting with us from September until the end of October 2019. You can view Rachel’s work at http://rachelbremner.com, and make sure to give her a follow on Instagram at @rachelmbremner. Rachel also has an upcoming solo exhibition in November 2019 at Sidespace Gallery, Salamanca Arts Centre, so make sure you can check out her small-scale jewellery work now and go see her large scale mosaics in November.