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Rochelle Gaukel

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Rochelle Gaukel

I live in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada. I have lived here for over 30 years with my husband and children. I was born and raised in Gilroy, California, before moving to Canada. After a day trip to San Francisco, heading home my friend and I met some Canadian boys looking for some lodging. While searching for accommodations for them near Fisherman’s Wharf came up with “no vacancy” everywhere, we invited them to stay with us. The rest is history and I have made my home in Canada for the past 30+ years with one of those “boys” I met so many years ago near the piers in San Francisco.

Rochelle Gaukel

I live a very simple life with my husband, grown children and dogs in a small farming town. I have always loved creating art from a young age. I remember an art teacher in high school who was so encouraging and always so positive about her students’ work. Because of this, I believed in my art and was confident in what I created, even if it wasn’t the best. She instilled the beginning of a passion for creating that I am so grateful for today. I love to travel and consider myself blessed when I can. I have a bit of wanderlust inside me that I need to act on every now and again. Italy is my favorite place to visit because I love the ancient surroundings that are still there along with its friendly people. I love learning new things. I always try to take art classes/workshops whenever I can. I love gardening as well. I love the process of starting our vegetable garden from seed or small plants and being able to harvest everything in the fall. It’s gratifying working both in the yard and with art, using your hands.

Rochelle Gaukel
I have an original cabinet card photo of my great-grandparents. It is hung along the top of my studio wall amongst many of my other favourite cabinet cards.

I am a solder artist who got started in this medium 12 years ago on a trip to Cortona, Italy, where I partook in a soldering retreat. From that moment on, I was hooked and wanted to learn more. I took as many classes on this medium as I could and soaked-up all the knowledge. With the basics behind me and the knowledge I gained, it was time to experiment and see what art I could make with my new-found love of the soldering iron and torch. I found that I could solder just about anything and everything. Even soldering plastic is doable, you just have to go about it at a slower pace.

Rochelle Gaukel

Over my life I have dabbled in many different mediums. Sewing, painting, writing and scrapbooking were a few of them. When I started seeing photos of soldered art and jewelry, I was enamored. When I saw the different soldered charms, each with different images or objects, I was already thinking of all the possibilities for my own pieces of art and jewelry. When I first tried soldering, it was a bit of a challenge and required practice. But there was a difference in the way I felt about this form of art. The soldering iron felt like an old friend inside my hand, and I knew I found my forever medium. I love what can be created with just an iron or a torch and a spool of solder.

Rochelle Gaukel

My style is definitely a vintage look. My pieces tend to take on the appearance of an ancient artifact with the different treatments I use. When an object is soldered and then cleaned, it is a very shiny silver color. I use a product called Black Patina to “age” the piece, which changes the shiny silver to a grey/pewter look, mimicking tarnished silver.

Rochelle Gaukel

Years ago when my grandmother passed away, we were left with many old photos of her. Some were of when she was a child in Italy, some of them were of her parents and some of her as a teenager. The photos were meaningful to me, and I just didn’t want to put them away in an album to be forgotten. So, I started creating art and jewelry with them. This way if I looked at a piece of art on the wall or wore a piece of jewelry with her image inside, I felt that she was “with” me. This is the way I hope the customer that comes to me for a custom order using a loved one’s image will feel. By giving them a forever keepsake with their loved one’s photo inside, I am giving them a piece they can keep close to their heart. I love to provide all the good feelings that custom art can give.

Rochelle Gaukel

My first step is finding inspiration in an object or from a photo. I love the search for these items the best. Scouring through antique markets in Europe or from my local thrift shop, I am always on the search for something out of the ordinary.

The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.

­—Mary Oliver

Beginning with an antique meerschaum or a vintage prayer card sets the tone for the project. Because of the antique look of what I begin with, the piece always tends to take on an old-world feel. Next, I create a background or substrate that can complement the focal object/photo. I like to use vintage book pages, sheet music pages, or sometimes a pattern from an art stamp pressed into clay.

Rochelle Gaukel

I enjoy recreating something from the past with found objects or products from today. I have always loved Santos dolls with their serene faces and cage dresses. With some clay and some wooden sticks, I was able to come up with a reproduction of the antique dolls I love so much.

Once I find the right object or image, the gathering begins. Bits and pieces are chosen that will inspire the whole art project. Laying them all out this way and that, until the look of the project appeals to me. Next, I may make a handmade box or shrine to put everything into. Choosing the shape of the box/shrine depends on what the object is. Vintage papers are chosen to line the box and all the bits and pieces, and focal objects are added inside. Designing the art piece is the most fun and satisfying part of the process. Usually when I suffer from any sort of creative block, it is because I haven’t allowed myself the time to get into my studio and just make art.

Rochelle Gaukel
One of my favorite items is an old tin can of soldering paste that my dad had in his shop. I love the fact that it is something I use on a daily basis in my studio and more importantly that it came from my dad.

I find I have a close relationship with art when it moves me. When I can look at a painting, or a sculpture, etc. and it awakens an emotion inside of me, I feel connected to that piece. For me, I need to “feel this” to understand the meaning of the piece. So, when I begin a new art project, I want this to come across in my final piece. A piece of art that will awaken an emotion in somebody else when they see it.

Art from my travels has been the biggest inspiration to me. I also find inspiration in scavenging the antique markets in Europe. The beautiful paintings, the old, stained books, the vintage pieces of jewelry and old abandoned photos; they all have a story that I want to know more about and I try to recreate it in a soldered art piece.

Rochelle Gaukel

I live in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada. I have lived here for over 30 years with my husband and children. I was born and raised in Gilroy, California, before moving to Canada. After a day trip to San Francisco, heading home my friend and I met some Canadian boys looking for some lodging. While searching for accommodations for them near Fisherman’s Wharf came up with “no vacancy” everywhere, we invited them to stay with us. The rest is history and I have made my home in Canada for the past 30+ years with one of those “boys” I met so many years ago near the piers in San Francisco.

Rochelle Gaukel

I live a very simple life with my husband, grown children and dogs in a small farming town. I have always loved creating art from a young age. I remember an art teacher in high school who was so encouraging and always so positive about her students’ work. Because of this, I believed in my art and was confident in what I created, even if it wasn’t the best. She instilled the beginning of a passion for creating that I am so grateful for today. I love to travel and consider myself blessed when I can. I have a bit of wanderlust inside me that I need to act on every now and again. Italy is my favorite place to visit because I love the ancient surroundings that are still there along with its friendly people. I love learning new things. I always try to take art classes/workshops whenever I can. I love gardening as well. I love the process of starting our vegetable garden from seed or small plants and being able to harvest everything in the fall. It’s gratifying working both in the yard and with art, using your hands.

Rochelle Gaukel
I have an original cabinet card photo of my great-grandparents. It is hung along the top of my studio wall amongst many of my other favourite cabinet cards.

I am a solder artist who got started in this medium 12 years ago on a trip to Cortona, Italy, where I partook in a soldering retreat. From that moment on, I was hooked and wanted to learn more. I took as many classes on this medium as I could and soaked-up all the knowledge. With the basics behind me and the knowledge I gained, it was time to experiment and see what art I could make with my new-found love of the soldering iron and torch. I found that I could solder just about anything and everything. Even soldering plastic is doable, you just have to go about it at a slower pace.

Rochelle Gaukel

Over my life I have dabbled in many different mediums. Sewing, painting, writing and scrapbooking were a few of them. When I started seeing photos of soldered art and jewelry, I was enamored. When I saw the different soldered charms, each with different images or objects, I was already thinking of all the possibilities for my own pieces of art and jewelry. When I first tried soldering, it was a bit of a challenge and required practice. But there was a difference in the way I felt about this form of art. The soldering iron felt like an old friend inside my hand, and I knew I found my forever medium. I love what can be created with just an iron or a torch and a spool of solder.

Rochelle Gaukel

My style is definitely a vintage look. My pieces tend to take on the appearance of an ancient artifact with the different treatments I use. When an object is soldered and then cleaned, it is a very shiny silver color. I use a product called Black Patina to “age” the piece, which changes the shiny silver to a grey/pewter look, mimicking tarnished silver.

Rochelle Gaukel

Years ago when my grandmother passed away, we were left with many old photos of her. Some were of when she was a child in Italy, some of them were of her parents and some of her as a teenager. The photos were meaningful to me, and I just didn’t want to put them away in an album to be forgotten. So, I started creating art and jewelry with them. This way if I looked at a piece of art on the wall or wore a piece of jewelry with her image inside, I felt that she was “with” me. This is the way I hope the customer that comes to me for a custom order using a loved one’s image will feel. By giving them a forever keepsake with their loved one’s photo inside, I am giving them a piece they can keep close to their heart. I love to provide all the good feelings that custom art can give.

Rochelle Gaukel

My first step is finding inspiration in an object or from a photo. I love the search for these items the best. Scouring through antique markets in Europe or from my local thrift shop, I am always on the search for something out of the ordinary.

The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.

­—Mary Oliver

Beginning with an antique meerschaum or a vintage prayer card sets the tone for the project. Because of the antique look of what I begin with, the piece always tends to take on an old-world feel. Next, I create a background or substrate that can complement the focal object/photo. I like to use vintage book pages, sheet music pages, or sometimes a pattern from an art stamp pressed into clay.

Rochelle Gaukel

I enjoy recreating something from the past with found objects or products from today. I have always loved Santos dolls with their serene faces and cage dresses. With some clay and some wooden sticks, I was able to come up with a reproduction of the antique dolls I love so much.

Once I find the right object or image, the gathering begins. Bits and pieces are chosen that will inspire the whole art project. Laying them all out this way and that, until the look of the project appeals to me. Next, I may make a handmade box or shrine to put everything into. Choosing the shape of the box/shrine depends on what the object is. Vintage papers are chosen to line the box and all the bits and pieces, and focal objects are added inside. Designing the art piece is the most fun and satisfying part of the process. Usually when I suffer from any sort of creative block, it is because I haven’t allowed myself the time to get into my studio and just make art.

Rochelle Gaukel

One of my favorite items is an old tin can of soldering paste that my dad had in his shop. I love the fact that it is something I use on a daily basis in my studio and more importantly that it came from my dad.

I find I have a close relationship with art when it moves me. When I can look at a painting, or a sculpture, etc. and it awakens an emotion inside of me, I feel connected to that piece. For me, I need to “feel this” to understand the meaning of the piece. So, when I begin a new art project, I want this to come across in my final piece. A piece of art that will awaken an emotion in somebody else when they see it.

Art from my travels has been the biggest inspiration to me. I also find inspiration in scavenging the antique markets in Europe. The beautiful paintings, the old, stained books, the vintage pieces of jewelry and old abandoned photos; they all have a story that I want to know more about and I try to recreate it in a soldered art piece.

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