I caught up with Rael Cohen, a designer who combines the images and iconography of the world around her with high concept fashion jewelry.
Rael's background gives her a unique, blended perspective. She grew up in the wooded areas of Maine and upstate New York, later moving to New York City at the age of eighteen to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology.
“My design influences come from both worlds,” she added. “I love city life – the architecture and culture, as well as the grace, beauty and calmness of nature.”
Rael earned a degree in fine arts and spent twelve years working in the fashion industry. She had always been interested in creating jewelry, having started making her own since the age of five.
“I have always loved making pretty things since I was a child; it began when I was steady enough to hold a needle and thread,” she added.
After working in the fashion industry, She decided to start her jewelry line. “My cumulative skill-sets, spiritual philosophy and design aesthetic had progressed to the stage where I felt confident enough to create my own collections. My pieces remind us of the natural grace, beauty and intelligence present within all of existence, including ourselves.”
“My jewelry has embedded aspects of consciousness in it. What I’m looking to express is the beauty that is around us. Whether that beauty comes from physical forms, like the gracefulness of a butterfly, or through the structures of architecture and mathematics.”
Cohen designs astrology jewelry, chakra necklaces from eastern cultures, nature jewelry, and jewelry based on mathematics and sigils from different eras of history. She adds pieces to these collections, balancing out the assortment.
Her design process is fairly straight-forward; She creates a prototype based on her designs, then experimenting with materials and plating for the final product.
She choses materials that are hypoallergenic, strong and lightweight. “I create super-thin objects and I need them to be durable despite how light they are.”
The best part of her designs is the connection they make with their owners. “My jewelry highlights an aspect of self-expression and brings that to the forefront. It's about how it makes you feel.”
“My favorite creation is the brand itself,” she said. “It's in its fledgling stages, but I feel it is robust in terms of the sorts of intellects it appeals to. That said, she does admit to being extremely partial to a pair of butterfly inspired earrings. “They’re just really cute,” she laughed.
Rael's greatest sense of accomplishment comes from people who enjoy her art. “I appreciate people looking at my work; I want them to know that I happy making them feel beautiful when they find a piece of themselves in something they can wear.