Monday, 25 July 2011

We Have Moved!!

We are excited to announce that the Rachel Helen Designs blog is now hosted directly through our brand new website!

Its been a long haul but we finally made it!

The new website is finally here!

Some of the new features include our new integrated blog, which will feature monthly posts on relative issues and all the latest news and updates from Rachel Helen Designs.

We also have a new fully secure online shopping cart which uses SagePay and accepts all major cards as well as PayPal.

And of course we have some beautiful exciting new products to whet your appetite.
We have extended the Ever After Collection to feature a wider range of products to give you a better choice on our off the shelf wedding and engagement rings.
We also have new products in all the one off collections including the Precious and Juniper Tree Collections.
The limited edition Nightshade Collection also features the beautiful new Morning Glory pendant and matching bracelet.

A new testimonial and commissions section has also been added to help give you inspiration for your own bespoke commissions.

We hope you enjoy browsing and welcome your comments and feedback!

Rachel Helen

Sunday, 4 July 2010

The story of the Golden Hare...

Just over a week before Christmas (2009) I received an email via a friend from the arts organisation Design Factory. They had received a commission request for an artist to design and make a golden hare similar to the Kit Williams Masquerade necklace.

I was first introduced to Kit Williams' work and the Golden Hare just a few months prior to this after reading an article in my daily newspaper and watching a documentary on the BBC. The second I saw the piece I was hooked!
Not only could I see immediate similarities to my own work in the craftsmanship and design of the piece, I also related to the fairy tale aspect and hidden stories within the design. It is a stunning work of art, one of the most inspiring and beautiful pieces of jewellery I have ever come across.

When I received the shout out for artists applications naturally, I replied immediately, without a thought.
Apparently my excitement and enthusiasm transcribed into the email so much so that Paul replied back almost straight away!

After months of telephone conversations & emails we finally had the design fine tuned and ready to go!
I was absolutely delighted to be working on such an amazing piece. For me it was a dream commission! I couldn't have asked for anything more..

Making the first cut into the metal was pretty nerve wracking and exciting all at the same time. The design was hand cut from 18ct gold sheet metal. I started with the out line of the overall body and then worked on the detail in the centre of the body by drilling and carefully cutting out each little detail.
As I work in an open studio space I thought it best to forewarn my fellow residents of what I was working on and ignore them for a while!

So after several weeks of solitude and concentration the stones where finally set and the piece beautifully polished, ready to find its new home.
The entire process went exactly as planned and everything came together perfectly.

On the day that Paul & Rosey where due to collect the piece I had mixed feelings of apprehension, excitement and a slight sorrow knowing that my beautiful golden hare was finally leaving me.
I had not actually met Paul face to face throughout the whole process so I had no idea what reaction to expect from him and more importantly his wife Rosey.
As soon as they walked through the door I knew that the piece was going to the right home.
The excitement and joy expressed by Rosey when she opened the box was worth all the hard work and seeing it worn with such pride made it even better!

This was a dream commission for me from start to finish. The design, the symbolism, the beauty of the material and gemstones made it an absolute joy to work on!

Paul's Story
"I have been attracted to the Kit Williams/golden hare story since it first came to the publics' attention. As a young man, in the early 1970s, I used to live in Westoning, a small village in Bedfordshire, about five miles from Ampthill. I used to play rugby for Ampthill (4th XV!) and had visited the park with my baby daughter on hot, sunny weekend afternoons. So, when I heard about the story, and particularly that the hare was found in Ampthill Park I felt drawn to the story because I used to live there. Moreover, when I first saw the hare I was knocked out by the beauty of the piece. I found it magical.

I wanted to have a piece of jewellery made for Rosey and my motivation for this coincided with the 30th anniversary of the publication of the William's book - so the two ideas came together, a piece of jewellery modelled on the original hare.

The symbols: I felt that a moon and stars were important because they help conjure a sense of magic. Semi-precious stones were important to give the piece an exotic appearance. The tortoise is me!

The design process: Conducting this via email and telephone worked perfectly well, thanks to Rachel's fantastic (and accurate) illustrations and her reliable communication and honesty.

On first sight of the hare: Rosey was very surprised at the size of the piece and it's impact. It was larger than she anticipated. She was struck by the intricacy and detail. It is beautiful. Rosey particularly likes the way that the hare has been cut and the setting of the jewels. She really enjoys wearing the hare as people are very interested in looking at it. She feels spoilt (I am pleased she does).

I think that the hare has exceeded all my expectations. I knew it would be good. It is actually fantastic."
P. Darbyshire 2010

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Rachel Helen Designs at The British Museum!

As of this weekend The Juniper Tree Collection will be available for sale from one of the gift shops in The British Museum!

Its taken several months of designing, making and paperwork but finally we are there. The first batch of stock was delivered on Monday and will be in store this weekend.

If your in the area go and check it out! .. and let me know how it looks!

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

New 2010 Prices and other news!

Wow! what a busy start to the year!
We have lots of exciting news including new products, price changes and very exciting commissions on the way!

Following our 2010 Price Review we are pleased to announce that the recycled vintage Juniper Tree Collection is now available at new lower prices!
We have been able to speed up production and bring down material costs so that we can offer you some of our favorite one off pieces at more affordable prices.
Check out the new prices on the website now...
Remember all Juniper Tree Jewellery is completely one off so once its gone its gone.. Order today so you don't miss out!

We also have a brand new limited edition Bangle now available from our exclusive Nightshade Collection
The newest edition to our Nightshade Collection features a beautiful sterling silver 4 Seasons Bangle designed to match the popular pendant of the same design.
Both the pendant and bracelet are available in four colourways, Spring, Summer, Autumn & Winter.
All pieces featured in the collection are limited to only 50 of each design.
For more details view the product page.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Christmas Meyhem..

So it been a busy few months in the run up to Christmas..

Lots going on..
Exhibited at Handmade Chelsea in November, but had disappointing numbers.. met some fabulous people through it though so its not all bad..

The Sterling Silver Nightshade Collection is now officially available for sale on the website and lots of new Juniper Tree recycled vintage jewellery has been uploaded in the last few days.

Had a brilliant Open Studios event this weekend. Thank you to everyone that came along!
If you would like to be informed of any future Open events or exhibitions please join the Rachel Helen Mailing list and you will be the first to hear of all events and sales!

Lots of exciting Christmas commissions on the way.. more news to follow in the new year..

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

PRESS RELEASE: Palladium Jewellery

Palladium jewellery, perfect for a credit crunch Christmas
British designer recommends the newly Hallmarked precious metal

Set to become the latest fashion in jewellery design, Palladium can offer cost-conscious consumers the chance to buy stunning jewellery – at half the cost of Platinum. Palladium looks like Platinum and is currently cheaper than white gold it was awarded its Hallmark in August 2009.

Derbyshire-based jewellery designer Rachel Helen has seen Palladium commissions treble in September alone, and she knows exactly why:

“Palladium has strong and luxurious qualities. Its rarity and brilliant white appearance have made it exceptionally popular this year, particularly since it achieved its official Hallmark. People call me every day to ask about the costs of commissioning individual pieces of jewellery for gifts or weddings and they are so often thrilled when they discover Palladium exists – a precious metal that offers them a high quality, as well as cost effective, end result.

“Although in the trade we have known about Palladium’s potential for many years, this precious metal has suddenly burst into the consumer marketplace. It’s ideal for those people who are looking to buy a stunning gift or commission a unique piece of jewellery, but would rather watch their spending carefully and get the best value for their hard-earned pounds.”
Rachel Helen Designs offers commissions in all precious metals, including the newly recognised Palladium. Rachel also has a variety of other collections offering limited edition or bespoke products.


Visit the land of make believe with British jewellery designer’s Juniper Tree range
The dark side of fairy tales inspires latest collection

Inspired by the darker side of fairy tales, jewellery designer Rachel Helen has created a range of recycled, hand-finished, vintage jewellery. Guaranteed to be one of a kind, these pieces make a perfect gift and a unique statement. More ‘Wicked Witch of the West’ than ‘Cinderella’, when wearing this jewellery, you’ll feel more like a naughty princess than a sleeping beauty!
Designer Rachel Helen comments:
“The Juniper Tree Collection uses recycled vintage jewellery by combining broken and unwanted gems to create new bespoke on-trend pieces. Striking, bold creations ensure a contemporary take on vintage classics and creates jewellery that screams to be worn. These pieces make stunning gifts for friends and relatives, as well as a great treat for you!”
Designed in her Derbyshire-based studios, Rachel Helen offers a range of pieces including rings, brooches, chokers, necklaces and hair accessories, as part of her Juniper Tree Collection. For a more sentimental gift, Rachel will also recycle unworn family costume jewellery in the style of the Juniper Tree Collection enabling you to breathe new life into your existing pieces.