Rachael Ashe, our beloved office manager, left Hop Studios at the beginning of this year to pursue her lifelong passion: art.
Rachael is a talented and innovative artist that works deftly in several mediums, among them photography and mixed-media collage. This year, she began to work with a new format: altered books. These beautiful pieces combine created, found, and purchased objects in collages where an old book is the canvas. She frequently cuts holes in the book’s pages, or folds and cuts the pages to incorporate them as elements of the collage. They are amazing pieces, and you don’ t have to take my word for it! A series of 25 (yes, 25!) of Rachael’s altered books is on display at the Pacific National Exhibition’s Container Art Show in Vancouver. Another piece is on display in the UK at the Artworks-mk exhibit.
I am lucky enough to own several of Rachael’s pieces, and I bought one of the altered books for my knitting studio early in the year. There’s something very special about having original artwork by a working artist in your home or work space. The pieces are creatively inspiring and of course beautiful to look at. So I’m very lucky, but I have good news: you, too, can own one of Rachael’s pieces. She has put quite a few of her photos, metal prints, collages, and altered books up for sale in her Etsy shop. And I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how wonderful artwork can be as a gift, for yourself or others.
Regardless of who you purchase one of these pieces for, you will be giving Rachael something invaluable: the ability to continue her work as an artist. Our culture needs people like her, that contribute so much creativity and beauty to our world, making it a richer and more enjoyable place for all of us. We do a poor job of supporting our artists, generally, so Rachael and other artists deserve extra thanks for choosing to do the work they do.
So, thank you, Rachael. Hop Studios can’t wait to see what you do next!