Skip and Racheal Mathews


Both Skip and Racheal have been gifted with a passion for art and the faith to TRUST God with it. Their medium of choice is flame painting copper. They recognize that only God could have knit them together to create such a unique combination of artistry with copper. Skip and Racheal studied fine arts at the University of Arizona in the 60’s and 70’s, and yet they never met there. Racheal’s focus was drawing and painting on canvas while Skip’s major was pottery and sculpture in metal. But Skip’s love for copper started in high school where his teacher praised his ability to hammer and raise a nice copper bowl. Out of college, he began working copper as a business making copper clad candles. After the oil shortage in the mid 70’s raised the cost of paraffin out of reach, he moved on to copper sculptures, fountains, lamps and fusion jewelry, some of which were shown in prestigious museums in the West.

It was in 1981 that Skip began developing his unique method of flame painting. During his first 15 years as a coppersmith, he had watched the colors form around his solder marks and that led to his decision to discipline himself for 10 years to do nothing but butterflies for the wall. He made over 15,000 of them in a row. Now, rather than merely having happy accidents, he became the first to learn how to separate the natural colors one gets when heating copper into 14 distinct colors with intentional patterns. It was then that he went from being a coppersmith who colored copper with a flame, to being referred to as a “flame painter”. In 1996, Skip married his new best friend and fellow artist, Racheal.

Two articles have been written about them, one in RCI Magazine in June of 2007 and another in Rural Missouri Magazine in April of 2007.   They were juried members of Best of Missouri Hands for 10 years (2002-2012) and had work juried in for 3 years in a row at William Woods’ prestigious “Celebrating Creativity” exhibit in Fulton, Missouri.  Additionally, Skip has 2 of his flame painted Christmas ornaments on permanent display at the Governor’s Mansion in Jefferson City, Missouri. Now that they are living in Arkansas, they have become juried members of the Arkansas Craft Guild.
They are now in their 60’s and this duo has settled in Mountain View, Arkansas to open a shop at the Ozark Folk Center’s Craft Village. Alongside 33 other crafters and wonderful folk musicians, they enjoy interpreting for past coppersmiths while demonstrating their own unique method of flame painting copper. Together, Skip and Racheal make a wide variety of pins, jewelry, wall décor and free standing vases, plates and bowls. Skip displays an exciting flare for the abstract and innovative 3D effects while Racheal creates intense color combinations with a particular gift for symmetry. Skip and Racheal are committed to being faithful with their gifts and always send their blessings with their products.

Check out some of the beautiful things that they make on their website. click here