RAI Making Experience
All of our pieces started life as a tiny seed (or ball of clay) and have grown into the works of art you see before you. Lovingly hand-crafted in Queensland, all our pieces are ethically made, giving our creatives exciting opportunities to improve their skills and showcase their work.
Every piece you see on the Rai website was designed, made, packed and shipped by people living with disability. And the best part is that every time one of you lovely people buy something from Rai, we can provide positive employment opportunities for people with disability. We like to call it a Rai volution!
Rai - The Jewellery Evolution
In a time, long, long ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth…..
Sorry wrong story.
The inspiration behind Rai’s range of jewellery started at our CPL - Choice Passion Life creative hub in Springfield, a place which provides opportunities for people with disabilities to express themselves creatively and gain independence in their own way. With a great love of art and design, our artisans fashioned products, which reflected their individuality and spontaneity, for pure enjoyment.
Fast-forward to 2017 and these artists inspired a brand – that’s us - turning their creativity and passion into a pathway where they can create pieces which can be sold on this revolutionary inter web thing.
How On Earth Do They Do It?
Here is a big lump of clay. This is how your beautiful Rai design started its life. It is the skilled work of our talented creatives, who used their artistic license to produce fabulous shapes and designs, resulting in the jewellery you see before you today.
Using a rolling pin, our artists roll out the clay until it’s just right – not too thick, not too thin but somewhere in the middle. It’s then cut by hand, using knives, shape cutters, kebab sticks – anything our creatives can get their hands on – to get our basic shapes, which have been chosen by our artists.
Once dried, the shapes are smoothed down using a sponge to get rid of any nasty bumps and jagged edges and left out to dry with a weight on top.
Next is the really fun part. Getting fired!
No not our artists… the clay. Each piece is taken to our kiln and fired at 1100 degrees (that’s about the same temperature as Alice Springs mid-summer right?) for 24 hours.
After they have cooled down enough, the artists bring them back to start making them look pretty. Each piece is sanded down, getting rid of any bumps which may have been missed, then they are washed, dried and painted. Our artists select the colours they will use for each piece and choose the designs that inspire them.
Each of our pieces receives three layers of paint, using a dabber not a brush to ensure we aren’t left with any pesky brush lines, then some of our pieces have transfer patterns applied, decided by our artists. Then we glaze. And we glaze. And we glaze. And we glaze again until none of the beautiful paintwork can be seen.
To finish it’s time to get fired again - sounds like this clay’s having a pretty rough week! Once we have our finished ceramic pieces, our artists add the finishing touches, thread the chains, attach the earrings and hey presto, here you go!