Rae Dunn and her dog, Wilma, in her studio
Artist Profile: Rae Dunn
Who Is Rae Dunn?
Our steadfast partner Rae Dunn is an artist and designer who creates thoughtfully crafted and innately beautiful pieces designed to enhance your day. Rae Dunn décor is inspired by Rae’s appreciation for the simple things in life, with unique home accessories that blend in seamlessly with today’s cozy contemporary home.
Rae mined her heritage to inspire a new curated homestead collection of everyday objects in a range of authentic materials. We visited Rae's studio to hear more about the inspiration behind the newest line. Here, we chat with Rae about her background and her inspirations, and get a peek at her Heritage line.
MAGENTA: Describe where you grew up and how you got connected with art.
RAE DUNN: “I grew up in Fresno, California with four siblings, two parents, and always at least one dog.
I believe that we are ALL born as artists with natural instincts to create. I just never stopped!
I was also lucky enough to have parents who nurtured our creativity from the very beginning. Along with starting piano lessons at age four, our mother took us on weekly trips to the hobby shop where we could pick out any project to pursue.
I was always doing a wide variety of making. From model airplanes, paint by numbers, shrinky dinks, macramé, an easy bake oven, etc. I think that being so deeply immersed in music and art as a child played a huge role in my love and need for creative expression as an adult.”
MAGENTA: What made you fall in love with clay and ceramics?
RAE DUNN: “I started ceramics purely by chance. While riding my bike in Golden Gate Park, I stumbled across a beautiful building that, to me, looked like a castle. This magical building turned out to be a public community art center. I just wanted to be in the building somehow so I randomly signed up for a class. The only two classes that fit my schedule were stained glass and ceramics, neither of which I had ever done or had even thought about."
"I flipped a coin to decide which class to take and it landed on ceramics. The minute I touched clay, I fell madly in love with it and it slowly started taking over my life, until one day it became my life. I love the tactile nature of ceramics. I love that you can make something out of a lump of dirt. I love being able to create something with my hands that is so essential and useful in our everyday life.”
MAGENTA: Can you tell us about your art background?
RAE DUNN: “I didn’t go to art school and have never had any real art classes. I believe that because I was truly uninformed, it allowed me to make and break my own rules. Because I was allowed so much creative freedom as a child, it made me think that anything was possible and I always knew that I would have some sort of creative career. I was always very much into handwriting, fonts, and words. Originally, I thought I wanted to be a graphic designer, but as I began doing that, everything started shifting towards technology and I quickly lost interest. I am a self-diagnosed Luddite”
MAGENTA: How do you describe your work?
Rae Dunn: “My work is clean, simple, quiet, accessible, utilitarian, and imperfect.”
MAGENTA: What has been most rewarding about your work?
RAE DUNN: “My work seems to bring joy to a lot of people. I love hearing directly from my customers about how my work has changed their life, helped them somehow, or has brought them a new community of friends.”
MAGENTA: Where can you be found when you’re not working?
RAE DUNN: “Hiking in the woods, traveling to a new place, or in a hot and stinky Bikram yoga class.”
FILL IN THE BLANK
MAGENTA: If I wasn’t an artist I’d be ?
RAE DUNN: A puppy petter.
MAGENTA: A great day begins with ?
RAE DUNN: A good previous night of sleep.
MAGENTA: I never leave home without ?
RAE DUNN: A sketchbook and a pen or mechanical pencil.
MAGENTA: The next place I want to travel is ?
RAE DUNN: Cambodia.
MAGENTA: My dream dinner party guests include ?
RAE DUNN: Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin, Gregory Peck (for a little eye candy), Pablo Picasso and Lump (his dog), my four grandparents, Freda Kahlo, Kelly Rippa, Anaïs Nin.
The Heritage Collection by Rae Dunn
"I’m very excited about my new Heritage line. I value objects that have a history and that can tell a story. I feel that this line truly represents my own personal lifestyle; which is simple, utilitarian, and straightforward." - Rae Dunn
Write It Down
ARTIST JOURNALS & GRAPHIC PENCILS, PENS
"One of my favorite new items from this collection is the leather journal. I am a notetaker, a sketcher, and an observer who is never without a notebook on hand. I love that these are refillable and that the leather will just keep getting better and better with age." - Rae Dunn
Time for Textiles
TEA TOWELS, COASTERS, NAPKINS, GIFT BAGS AND AN APRON.
Where to Buy Rae Dunn
Buy hand-crafted Rae Dunn products at Magenta, including Rae Dunn mugs and the fan-favorite Rae Dunn canister. Follow the link to find your favorite pieces!