Using jewelry as my love letter to food and everything food related, I attempt to create a distinct artifact from my journey – objects that create a direct channel to specific moments of comfort…With electroforming fabrication I am able to create food-based forms. By adding color with vitreous enamels, powder coat, gemstones and gold, I capture a moment in time for all time.
A keen sense of humor and a commitment to an extraordinary level of craftsmanship characterize the work of the Long Beach, California-based artist Rachel Shimpock. Obsessed with “comfort food” and its associated memories and feelings, Shimpock creates enameled jewelry in the form of edibles such as chicken wings, waffles, celery smothered in ranch dressing, and buttered toast often with jam. Her wearable jewelry, electroformed from actual objects, and enameled are frequently embellished with jewels from fresh water pearls and citrines to yellow sapphires and rubies. These luscious forms of adornment, inspired in part by her fond recollections of family meals as well as the early food sculpture of Claes Oldenburg, have earned Shimpock a reputation as one of the most imaginative artists to enter the studio jewelry field in the past six years.
Rachel Shimpock was born in Orange Country, California in 1976. The daughter of teachers, she was awarded her BFA in metalsmithing and jewelry design in 2006 from the California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) where she studied with Dieter Muller-Stach and Susanna Speirs. She also studied at Long Beach City College (LBCC) with Kristin Beeler. She subsequently earned a MFA in metalsmithing and jewelry design from San Diego State University (2012) where she studied with Helen Shirk and Sondra Sherman. A passionate educator, she has taught and been a lab technician at LBCC, while also teaching at CSULB, and an instructor at San Diego State University. She currently teaches in the jewelry and metals department at CSULB and offers electroforming and enameling workshops throughout the country.