Rachel David winner of the James Renwick Alliance for Craft 2021 Chrysalis Award


Rachel David, blacksmith, sculptor and designer, is the winner of the 2021 James Renwick Alliance for Craft Chrysalis Award. David’s innovative forging of metal into shapes and forms referencing bodies and landscapes provides an unexpected unique, provocative commentary on social and environmental justice issues. 

The intent of the annual JRACraft Chrysalis Award is to make a meaningful impact on an emerging artist’s career. This year, the Alliance is proud to support Rachel David who represents a change in the future of metalworking. Her expressive work and support for women in blacksmithing signifies our support not only for her but also her effort to affirm in a gender-biased field that “skill and craftsmanship are superior to brute force.”

Rachel David received a Bachelor of Arts from Evergreen State College in 2004 and has continued her studies through workshops at Penland School of Craft, John C. Campbell School of Craft, Nunez Community College and Haywood Community College where she recently received a machining certification. In 2019, she was featured in 40 Under 40: The Next Generation of American Metal Artists at the Metal Museum in Memphis, TN and received the Smithsonian Craft Show’s Best in Show Award and the Artists Gold Choice Award. In addition to her artistic practice, David is a founding member of the Society of Inclusive Blacksmiths which supports inclusivity through mentorship, support and scholarships. 

The JRACraft Chrysalis Award was established in 2016 to encourage and support emerging American craft artists who demonstrate excellence and a commitment to artistic innovation but do not have major gallery representation. This award includes a $5,000 unrestricted stipend and opportunities for professional development to include a public presentation of their work. The 2021 award was juried by Executive Director of The Metal Museum Carissa Hussong, collector and former gallery owner Karen Rotenberg and metal artist Chris Shea.

Our deepest gratitude to JRACraft member Stan Asrael for sponsoring this year’s award.