Rachel Paolino

“Just being on Cape Cod inspires my work. Mostly the ocean. A lot of what I do has a nautical theme. I am also inspired by classic cars, airplanes, and industrial machinery. I like to incorporate them all together when I can.”

When you walk into Rachel’s studio the most prominent feature in the shop hangs on the back wall. While her work proudly hangs as you walk towards the back, there is a particular poster that defines who she is and tells the story we are trying to portray. Amongst the stack of books and models on the shelves, smack in the middle of the wall is a framed poster of Rosie the Riveter with the catchphrase, “We Can Do It.” This one small piece of paper develops a strong message and begins our storyline. While Rachel is small, her work is larger than life. She has found a place and comfort in metal work and welding. She can do it, and she is. This is her story.

Rachel Paolino has always wanted to be an artist. She didn’t know what her medium would be, but she knew that it was important to her and that was that she used her hands to create. This drive allowed her to follow the path of becoming an artist. It would find her picking different mediums as she grew up until she chose her craft. She wanted to be a sculptor. Not just any sculptor. She wanted to weld.

“I’ve always wanted to be an artist, but I didn’t know what type of artist. I was going to school for photography when I took a 3D class. My professor asked if I ever thought about doing sculpture. I said no, but I really loved building things and working with my hands so I took another 3D class. I did sculpture. I was already going to school for art, photography and I wasn’t going to make any money anyway, so why not just become a sculptor? I have always been drawn to metal, like cars and airplanes. There were 2 sculpture professors and one mainly worked in metal and one worked in wood. I gravitated towards the metal more. I did jewelry too. Small scale metal stuff and that was cool.”


Rachel grew up in Providence, Rhode Island. She took day trips to Cape Cod with family. Her mother claims she has always wanted to live down here and as a child would state this.

“Well, actually my Mom says that since I was little, I always wanted to live on the Cape when I grew up. I don’t remember that but we’d make day trips when I was younger, I would always think it was cool out here.”

After school, she moved to Fall River and frequented Cape Cod. She met people of the like mind. Rachel created relationships and while Fall River is close, it wasn’t close enough.

“I was working with a photographer here and I met people around. I ended up moving down here. I wanted to get out of the city. I lived in Fall River for a year and I would visit my friends, then I would have to drive back to the city. I was sad leaving the trees and the ocean. It’s just beautiful here and kind of calming place to be. I have met so many people. A lot of my friends are artists, musicians, and so many creative people. It’s a good place to be as an artist. There’s a lot of great influences from all the other creative people around and I feel like other people appreciate art a lot more on the Cape than in some other places.”

While she joked about not making money at creating her work, Rachel started her own business to create commission pieces for others and to build her portfolio of her own pieces. Her dream of becoming an artist was blooming. She was creating her own path to success. She spoke to us about her challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated field.

“In a way, it kind of helps me because I am this tiny little girl and people find out that I weld they think it’s really cool. Even a lot of guys. But sometimes customers say oh are you sure you can do this? Oh, yeah sure. I’ve had someone stop into my shop by accident and ask if I am the owner of the business. People assume that if Bill and I are together, they will assume he is the welder a lot of the times. I think it has just helped me because it has helped me become stronger and confident with myself and just blow it off.”

Today she continues to create art and is preparing for her first solo exhibit at a local art gallery that reached out to her after a large article about her and her business in a local magazine. It has been important to her to get her work seen and to build on becoming a sculptor. It helps both the creative process and helps to build a clientele for commission work. During this time she lived with a motto.

“Be present and really live in the moment. Plan for the future but don’t get caught up thinking about it all the time. For me it’s hard. I’m trying to focus on the task at hand and focus on whatever I am doing. Whatever it may be even just everyday life.”

And she is in the present and most comfortable here on Cape Cod.

“Just being on Cape Cod inspires my work. Mostly the ocean. A lot of what I do has a nautical theme. I am also inspired by classic cars, airplanes, and industrial machinery. I like to incorporate them all together when I can.”

Rachel has set her mind to follow her path of creation. She built a life around designing art, continues to master her craft, and lead an imaginative lifestyle. There is little fear, and lots of the desire to succeed. We wish her well in both her solo show, the continuing of her business and the pieces she creates.

Please visit her web page here.

Her Instagram is here.

You can also check out her solo show at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod. It hangs from February 26th to April 22nd, 2019.