The shimmering jewelry of Rachelle Thiewes evokes the grandeur of the human form, along with the natural wonders of her home, located near the Chihuahuan desert in western Texas. Whether assembled from multiple parts that actually move, or crafted from stable elements that virtually sweep one’s field of vision along vibrantly colored surfaces, her engaging jewelry addresses the body, the environment, and the viewer. For the Slice and Heat series, Thiewes utilizes the Mobius strip, as well as streamlined, circular, and elliptical forms that have been painted with pearlescent auto paint to reflect not only the region’s active car culture but the shifting desert light.
Thieves holds a MFA from Kent State University and BA from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. She was Professor of Metals in the Department of Art at The University of Texas in El Paso for thirty-seven years. Thiewes is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artist Fellowship and was a nominee for a United States Artist Fellowship in 2010. In 2009 she was named “Texas Master” by the Houston Center of Contemporary Craft. The Stanlee & Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts at University of Texas in El Paso granted Thiewes the Access & Excellence in the Arts Award in 2014. Her work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, and Museum of Arts and Design, in New York; Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC; Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh; and Victoria and Albert Museum, London.