RACHEL COGHILL is the Scottish fiber artist behind FOAK, First of a Kind. Blending her passion for quilting and weaving, she has embarked on creating a line of beautiful wall hangings, quilts and home goods. What drew me to her work initially was her use of natural colors, textured prints and geometric patterns found in her quilts. In response to the question, "what do you do?", she responds with her tagline, 'traditional making for modern minds'. Read on as we explore traditional making, dark nights on the Isle of Skye and the creative lady behind FOAK.
Where are you from and has that played a part in your creative process?
I am originally from a small island in the North West Coast of Scotland called the Isle of Skye. Living in a very rural place with long dark winters is probably where my draw for traditional craft began...you really need a hobby that you can immerse yourself in on dark nights. I've enjoyed embroidery, weaving and sewing since a very young age, taught to me by my grandmother.
What are your favorite materials to work with and why?
I use 100% natural fabrics such as cotton, silk, calico, linen and natural yarns in my work. I have always shuddered a little when touching synthetic fibres. I know they have a place in the fashion and textile arena but natural fabrics and fibres are where it's at for me.
How do you start a new project? Is your process systematic or trial and error?
I start by choosing a solid theme. I usually have a rough vision but definitely sample a lot to perfect my original vision which has been known to change as I work up my sampling. A lot of my inspiration will be drawn from my own photographs and experiences.
"I'm a perfectionist so the quality of what I
produce has to be extremely high."
How long have you been creating your current line?
I have been working on FOAK for around a year now but have only recently taken the steps to make it my main full-time focus.
Are you self taught or did you study traditionally?
I studied stitched textile & fashion design and then fashion business and have been able to sew for years. I actually took several quilting night classes post graduation to learn a new skill.
What is the biggest artistic breakthrough that you’ve had recently?
Combining my passion and skills of both weaving and quilting, creating hybrid moon phase hangings using both methods.
Whats your next project?
I'm currently working on a project called #FoakSymbols where I'll draw inspiration from ancient symbols to create quilt patterns and new hangings.
What does the future hold for you?
I hope its one of creating, learning and travelling more.
If you could give another designer advice for success in running your own business what would it be?
Have faith! I think it's really scary to go it alone and say, 'hey world, here's what I do'. Start small, be patient and have fun with it.
Thanks for reading! Have a creative story and want to share? Drop me a line below!