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Chat in a Chair: Rachel Castle

By In/Out
April 24, 2013

Rachel Castle is a long-time friend of Arent&Pyke. Anyone familiar with our projects would likely have spied a Rachel Castle original or two in the mix. For the unfamiliar, Rachel is an artist, well known for her whimsical (and quite often cheeky) hand stitched felt work, colourful hand printed screen prints and covetable paintings. And then there is all that gorgeous bed linen, cushions and beach towels. And we should also note her fun collaboration with fashion label Gorman that put a lot of love in the coconut and cha-cha-ing about town. Rachel is not just clever, she is also bloody funny – so we needed no excuse to visit her in her sunny studio to have a chat to her in her favourite chair.

We love the tale of her favourite chair too – her answer was immediate! Rachel selected the Model 3107 chair by Arne Jacobsen – a pink 3107 no less. Gifted to her by her husband on their first anniversary – a gesture just so terribly romantic. This chair, first designed in 1955 is fashioned out cleverly bent plywood, and now produced exclusively by Danish furniture design company Fritz Hansen.

We really love producing the IN/OUT design blog – but we especially enjoy our Chat in a Chair feature. It is an exciting undertaking to find out the story behind people’s favourite chairs. There is always a story. It is such a privilege to uncap an area of passion in these inspirational individuals lives, and share something about them we might not otherwise know. People universally love chairs – this we well discovered through our Chat in a Chair Insta-challenge promotion last year, and we love being able to uncover these little gems for you.

WHAT A WINNER! Because Rachel is such a generous cookie, she has very kindly gifted us a gorgeous Sunny tote bag (RRP $120) to give away to celebrate today’s glorious Chat in a Chair. All we ask is for you to put your thinking caps on and comment below telling us who you would like to have a ‘Chat in a Chair’ with (living or dead) to win! We also ask that you share the love and subscribe to the blog (if you haven’t already!). So, get creative! You have a week to comment and the winner will be announced on the blog, on Instagram and Facebook on Wednesday 1st May.



















Credits: Photography by Ben Pyke Photography

0 responses to “Chat in a Chair: Rachel Castle”

  1. Kellie says:

    After reading this, it’s got to be Rachel Castle for sure! My friend raves about her, I love her style, I also hear she is funny and could not help but sing Club Tropicana whilst reading! Lol

  2. Jen Booth says:

    Well Goddam, if Rachel isn’t just one of the best humans.
    And so is Julia Pound of Dagmar Rousset in Melb, my vote is with her!

  3. Andrea Sievers says:

    What a lovely read this morning! Totally in love with everything. MAJE. x

  4. Amanda says:

    Love RC! She really is as hilarious and colourful as her fabulous felt works.

    I would love to see artist Lucas Grogan chat in a chair. He’s just joined the world on insta too! @xlucasgrogan

  5. Kelly PADMAN says:

    Van Gough….. What really went on in that troubled mind?

  6. Sarah Appleford says:

    I would love to chat in a chair with Armi Ratia, the founder of Marimekko. She has had a profound impact on textile design in the fashion, furniture and home wares industry. It would be interesting to see what she thought of the company now and how big it has grown from her original dream.

  7. jessica says:

    I would like to chat in a chair with…the artist Del Kathryn Barton, her art is mesmerizingly beautiful and it seems to come alive right off the canvas, I would love to know what inspires her…

  8. I just love Rachel’s designs, especially because they reflect who she is.
    I have some of her bed linen……
    I would love to chat in a chair with India Hicks.
    Tania xx

  9. Kevin Roller says:

    Björk. I love an icelandic lilt. Sing in a chair.

  10. I love this article on Rachel Castle, so inspiring, fun and modest ! There are so many people I would love to have a chat in a chair with. Strangeley the first person who sprung to mind was Wendy Whiteley. As a woman she is such an enduring Icon of the Bohemian Sydney Art Scene although is quite an enigma. Through the huge person tragedy she has suffered over the years she has given back to the coummunity through her amazing garden in Lavender Bay and her house is amazing, a tribute to the genius of Brett and imbued with her own personal style.

  11. Allison says:

    what a beautiful inspiring studio! Her designs just leave you feeling so happy. I can’t afford any artwork but I have one of tea towels ‘rainbow’ on my wishlist, I actually want it as it reminds me of my 2 year old son, he is obsessed with dinosaurs and it reminds me of one somehow!

    I would love to have a chat in a chair with Carlo Scarpa, he is my all time inspiration since I did a thesis on him at uni studying Interior Architecture. He is an absolute genius in my mind and his attention to the tiniest details are so profound.

  12. Deb Bibby says:

    Rach you are the BEST!
    deb B x

  13. Georgie Young says:

    Wow what a great interview! Loved seeing into Rachel’s colourful studio and life. I would loooove it if you could do an interview with Catherine Martin. She’s done some amazing things and would love to see here favourite chair!

  14. Lee says:

    I’d love a ‘chat in a chair’ with Samantha Robinson – I love her beautiful and functional ceramics and it would be lovely to learn a little bit about what inspires her.

  15. Stacey says:

    So happy and colourful! Love it. I would love to see a chat with Nina Provan from Neometro in Melbourne. Love her artwork choices!

  16. Engracia says:

    I would love an interview with Ben Quilty and Natalie Bloom, I find them both inspiring in their work and lives.

  17. Dominique says:

    I will have a jolly good chat with Scarlett O’Hara please. I wanna know what she saw in Ashley over Rhett. I my humble opinion Ashley was a bit of a fop and Rhett was a total fox of a man. Also, I would rather like to know how she sat down on her favourite chair with that skirt.

  18. Katrina Riley says:

    I would love to chat with Audrey Hepburn, I love her style and grace, photographs of her just intrigue me. Thanks for an insight into you Rachel, I love your studio, the colours and objects just inspire!!!

  19. Sarah says:

    My choice for a ‘chat in a chair’ would be Ray Eames (and Charles too if there was a 2nd chair!). Legendary and modest designers whose influence is still so relevant today.

  20. Carly says:

    Clare Bowditch would have a fabulous favourite chair I imagine! She is so supportive of fellow Australian creatives as well so I think the ‘chat’ with her would be both fun and inspiring.

  21. Ella says:

    I would love to have Coco Chanel chat in a chair, if it were possible.

  22. Lisa Barrett says:

    What a FABULOUS creative mind is Rachel Castle. Love her style to bits.
    I would absolutely love to chat with Mr Jonathan Adler in a chair. Yep. Perfect.

  23. Sandy Cash says:

    What an awesome concept. I do love how Rachel has turned playroom felt into an art form. My pick for Chat in a Chair would be Ray Eames in the LCW. If I wasn’t being greedy or violating conditions I would ask for both Ray & Charles, [couldn’t they squish up?] but if it did have to be just one of the pair I’d love the female perspective. I’m guessing she would have so much wonderful information about marriage, working together and living with creative integrity. And I’m sure she would be blown away to see how much their work has influenced the modern world and how many of their designs are still in production. That is all…

  24. michelle says:

    What a bright and sunny read…. in every which way! Thank you for sharing Rachel, and thank you Arent&Pyke for bringing this goodness to my computer. Lovely wonderful stuff.
    My chat would have to be Milton Glaser. What a extraordinary and interesting graphic designer. Student, teacher, artist, advertiser, he has done it all. He can talk though so the chair would have to be pretty comfy!

  25. Kate says:

    Love RC!!! So many fab suggestions for chat in the chair I second nearly all the suggestions above. My vote is for Beci Orpin x

  26. Shelley says:

    Bright sun shiny days!!!! Although I’m still alive and kicking, I would like to have a chat with my 20 year old self!!!! Ohhhh, the stuff we could chat about would be life changing! There might be a few tears, hopefully from laughing but to be able to know then what I know now would be crazy!!!

  27. Kylie Hill says:

    Wow, what a great interview and fabulous photos! I would have said to interview Megan Morton or Rachel castle but you have already done these amazing women, so I would love to read Karen Walker’s chat in a chair please.

  28. Katy Dhupelia says:

    Fantastic chat in a chair with Rachel Castle. It would also be great to hear from Lisa Gorman and her inspiring brand!

  29. Wardee says:

    I’d like Rachel & the A&P team to join Terence Conran & his ex-wife (co-founder of Habitat) – one of the greatest visionaries behind evolving modern homewares, restaurateurs & design influencers to challenge them, with so many amazing talents now in the market, where they see the future of design & retail…

  30. Natala says:

    Good golly I love Rachel castle. She is the felt queen!

    I would love to chat in a chair with my grandmother. I was pretty young when she passed away and she was an amazing seamstress, painter and all round beautiful hearted woman.

  31. How wonderful would it be to actually be able to sit just for an hour and chat to my Grandmother. Especially with her in the chair, maybe a nice table top fountain beside her, for tranquillity.

  32. Leonie Hart says:

    Rachel is so colourful, love that. I would like to read about Kirra Jamieson, her paintings are bliss.

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