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Form, Function, and Authenticity: A Chat with Rachel Saunders

Eleni Atmatzidis/15.09.22

Form, Function, and Authenticity: A Chat with Rachel Saunders

Rachel Saunders Ceramics creates beautiful ceramics and intentional objects. These items combine simple silhouettes, innovative thinking, and careful attention to details - resulting in small batch ceramics that are memorable and timeless.

We took a few minutes to connect with designer and founder, Rachel Saunders. to talk inspirations, style, and home decor. 

Rachel strives to balance form, function, and sustainability when creating timeless pieces - a priority that has guided Enkay’s decision-making from the very beginning, too. Like Enkay’s commitment to our artisans and their handmade rugs, Rachel values her team’s livelihood as much as she values the quality of her ceramics. From her plastic-free packaging to her financial donations in support of land and water protectors, we notice and celebrate her intentional choices as a business owner. 





Enkay: Tell us about your inspirations - what led to opening Rachel Saunders Ceramics?


Rachel: The desire to work for myself and with my hands was the intention when creating my business 7 years ago. What it has bloomed into is nothing short of some kind of cosmic miracle I feel like I had little to do with. My inspirations are always the sweet simple moments in life— beautiful food shared with friends, music that transports, Mother Nature, and dreaming up a world I want to live in. 



Enkay: What items do you love creating the most?


Rachel: For me everything has to have a function or purpose. My favourite pieces to make are innovative interpretations of objects typically not made of ceramic such as The Massager, or designing totally new intentional tools that enhance life, like The Phone Home



Enkay:  What do you do outside of ceramics to build inspiration and creativity?


Rachel: Travelling is huge for me, and has been my whole life. I need to see new places and faces to flourish. Being in different environments also helps my brain work best creatively, and I love absorbing the energy from wherever I am and transmuting it into new ideas or designs. 



Enkay: What’s an a-ha moment you’ve had recently that impacted your thinking or practice?

Rachel: Zooming out on life is something I’ve been doing more that brings me much peace. When everything feels too hectic, too fast, too chaotic, I widen my gaze and realize I am but a speck of dust, just a blip in time, and I can relax into the miraculousness of the moment. The more I do that, the more I realize that compromising the sparkles of joy flecked through our fleeting existence is the most ridiculous thing we could do. But, easier said than done 



 Enkay: What kind of interior design aesthetic resonates the most with you? Why? 


Rachel: Above aesthetic I care about authenticity. I resonate with special little notes or photos pinned to a wall. Messy beds and fresh flowers. The lingering scent of incense and objects that were built in workshops instead of factories. I like second, third, or fourth-hand items that are banged up a bit and tell a story. There’s nothing better than the warmth of the human spirit resonating from a lived in environment. 



Enkay: When buying a new rug, what kind of qualities do you look for? 


Rachel: The integrity in which Enkay rugs are made and the timelessness of my rug is what I love most. I know I’ll have it as an heirloom throughout the many phases and spaces in my life and that is so special. 


I like a faded element to be involved and the feeling of some wear. But most of all, as a maker, I think a lot about the conditions the rug were made in and the materials involved. Rugs have a presence, and can be such an incredible expression of craftsmanship that add so much to a space. 



Enkay: What style, tone, atmosphere, etc is priority when designing a room in your home?


Rachel: I need to have outdoor elements able to be brought indoors. Open windows, light pouring though, natural textures. I don’t think anything can come close to the feeling of laying in bed in a cloud of white cotton with the window open when it's raining outside. I also love fireplaces. 

Add in a warm drink in a handmade cup, some incense in the distance, and soft lighting— that’s my vibe. 



Rachel Saunders is from Western Canada and has been operating Rachel Saunders Ceramics since 2015. We loved gaining insight into her creative process, as well as hearing what she loves about Enkay’s handmade rugs. To read more about Rachel and her work, please click here.

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