Rachel Dein was introduced to casting processes while taking a glassblowing class at art college in London. Fascinated, she began to experiment, crafting simple yet detailed sculptures by pressing objects into clay, then covering the clay with plaster. Following college, she accepted an apprenticeship as a propmaker with the English National Opera; as her career expanded, so too did her knowledge and experience of casting, mold-making, and related techniques.
After her ethereal floral compositions started to gain appreciation through word of mouth, she established a studio in her family’s North London loft to create tiles and commissioned pieces from home. Throughout 2018, Dein will be working on a project for Hidcote Manor Gardens, casting the estate’s flowers and plants to permanently encapsulate each season as it changes.
Rachel’s botanical castings reflect her desire to capture the ephemeral. They track the progress of the seasons, marking the plants at the moment when they are most alive. Leeched of all colors and their flesh rendered in white plaster, the flowers are transformed, lending their gracefulness to something entirely new, at once a faithful imprint and an abstraction of themselves. With a tinge of sepia, the castings recall the slightly out-of-this-world look of platinum photographic prints brought into the third dimension.
Ngoc Minh Ngo, In Bloom