As a designer and metalsmith, Rachel Roberts of Mingle Designs works mainly with silver and gold to create jewelry that evokes a raw freshness with a modern edge. Rachel’s designs for Mingle jewelry are based on simplicity of forms that create powerful and dynamic pieces for the wearer. The ideas for her designs are based on natural forms that evolve out of working with the metals. Mingle designs offer bold and strong pieces, as well as delicate and subtle variations. Rachel is constantly pushing the boundaries of her designs and using new materials to create changing themes and unique variety. Rachel was kind enough to let me into her North Austin home and walk me through the creative process that takes place in her charming studio. I hope you enjoy the inside view of Mingle as much as I do!
Tell me about the organic nature and progression of each piece and the techniques that you use to create your jewelry.
Rachel: The “organic” nature of my jewelry refers to the look and feel of the designs that tend to be very natural shapes and have an imperfect aesthetic. It is all handmade, hand cut, soldered, and hammered. Through these techniques I reveal the natural undulations in the metal and this is what defines the look of Mingle.
How has your vision of this jewelry line changed from the sketches to the actual product?
Rachel: I started out with a lot of ambitious designs in my sketches. When I applied the ides to the actual assembly of the metal and components, I began to simplify the ideas and realized that I was drawn to that simplified approach. Mingle then began to encompass this idea of simplicity in design, look, and materials. It is my goal to achieve this idea with every style.
Where do you draw inspirations from?
Rachel: Inspiration for a lot of Mingle comes from shapes found in nature and anything organically shaped. Through my approach to the designs comes a softness in the quality of the jewelry. There are no rigid shapes or designs in the pieces. I also pull inspiration from current and classic trends in jewelry. I want Mingle pieces to be timeless and easy to wear.
Your line specializes in geometric, everyday jewelry and your pieces are entirely hand carved and handcrafted; tell me about why this is important to you and the challenges that you face during the process?
Rachel: I think I answered a lot of this question above. There is a constant challenge that comes from my simplistic approach. I cannot always achieve every idea and sometimes designs can come out looking too forced or too busy. I know that Mingle has to stick to a cohesive look and my desire is that all the pieces compliment each other, as well as complimenting the women that wear it.
Many thanks to Rachel Roberts. She was an absolute pleasure to talk with and I look forward to seeing her again soon for the Mix and Mingle Trunk Show She is a UT grad, a native Texan and Austinite, and she has recently moved back here after living in New Mexico and San Francisco. She has been a store favorite for years and we are so happy to have her back in Austin! Her designs are timeless and fun and feature simple, loopy mixed and mingled designs in 14k gold-fill and silver.
Rachel’s beautiful work ranges between $50-$200. 229 West 2nd Street, Austin, TX
Sterling Silver Large Pavement Drop Earrings
14k Gold Three Size Loop Earrings
Sterling Silver Mingled Loop Necklace
Gold Triple Concentric Loop Earrings