PlatypusMax is an online shop selling handcrafted barrettes, jewelry and gift sets that are inspired by nature, sustainably made, and minimally packaged. All pieces are designed and created by artist / maker Rachel Summers.
My products are crafted in my studio in Lexington, Massachusetts, USA, shipped worldwide.
A reverence for nature and eco-friendly practices are central to my philosophy. That is, to keep the carbon footprint of everything I create as low as possible, with minimal trash output, non-toxic materials and nature-focused designs. This means that my core materials are sourced as post and pre-consumer waste, and without the use of new plastic materials.
Leather is one of my favorite materials, and I use it to make barrettes, earrings and other accessories. It is a wonderful natural, biodegradable material to work with as it holds impressions in a range of colors and textures. This allows me to create beautiful, functional pieces that capture natural impressions of various plants and other natural elements.
I like to work with simple tools including handmade stamps, a hammer, a mechanical press, a sharp knife, rivets, dyes and paints. Embossed patterns are either hand-tooled or created by pressing plants or other natural textures and found objects into wet un-dyed leather.
Meet the artist
It’s just me, Rachel Summers. I began my life as a maker in my father's pipe organ workshop, studied art, photography, ceramics and printmaking in between a meandering career in product design, software development and digital publishing. When the time was right, I left all that to care for my young family and was finally able to find the space to return to my first true love: crafting beautiful things.
I make barrettes and other accessories mainly from leather as well as other repurposed materials. I love natural textures, especially leaf structures as well as geometric designs, typography and appreciate dry humor.
What about the Platypus?
Hi there. If you’re still here reading, you must really be interested to know: what is up with the platypus and why is it maxed out? Funny you should ask. The platypus became my personal mascot early in my career, a creature that is shy but full of unexpected traits, thumbing its nose in the face of evolution and general expectations set by the rest of the animal kingdom. I learned as an adult that I have ADHD, as many of us creative / maker types do, and it helped me put together that maybe I’m not a wacky duck-billed mammal, just a creative person full of ideas. This unique creature reminds me to put my ideas together as they make sense, even if it's not what is expected.
I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a note anytime!