Chardel
Chardel
Woodinville, WA

Chardel loves to create visual and wearable art with fiber, metal, gemstones and beads. Making art with her hands from a young age, she likes to play with color, texture and unique materials embracing the “what-ifs” and happy accidents that occur when one has backed into an artistic corner and must find a creative means of escape. “Sure, I meant to do that. It was the plan all along….” she said when she ran out of fabric or misplaced some stitches.

 

A little bit about Chardel:

 

What inspires you to create?

 

Every picture tells a story, whether it’s a tale of the earth via a gemstone or a visual representation of a person, place, thing or idea expressed as painting, sculpture, art quilting, ceramics or woodworking. I don’t have the aptitude (or the toy budget!) to engage in all of these mediums, so I start with the familiarity of needle and thread which I learned from my mother and grandmother and push myself from there to tell a visual story. The story can be serious, such as remembering a loved one or a social statement, or completely frivolous and fanciful, such as a pair of goats on an imaginary fishing trip or a hip prosthetic taking on new life as an anti-sedentary superhero doll.

 

What different creative mediums do you play around with?

 

I’ve tried lots of creative outlets and jumped in with enthusiasm, but I always come back to fabric, stitching, beadweaving and gemstones. There is something about the hands-on nature of the work and the process of building that appeal to me, therefore I let go of the others and give those materials a new home where they will be put to creative good use.

 

Do you plan your work out in advance, or do you just dive in with your materials and start playing?

 

I always begin with a plan, but plans change as circumstances change. Some of my most successful pieces have come about because I started with a set of rules (I’ll build my background from a single hand-dyed fabric, for example) and discover that I don’t have enough of that piece (and cannot obtain more) to complete the project. Or it just looks dull. What else will work? What can I add? How can I change the rules to that my adaptations become part of the plan rather than glare as mistakes? And how can I apply that new rule to the other elements of the piece?

 

How many UFOs do you think you have?

 

Hahahahahahaha!!!!!

 

How often do you start a new project?

 

In my head or for real?? Neither number is achievable, but they sure are fun to think about!

 

Are there indispensable tools in your studio? How do they help you?

 

First, the importance of good lighting and magnification are key. Daylight spectrum lighting lets me see the true colors of my materials. Hands-free magnification makes precise detail work possible while placing a gazillion French knots or shaping a sculptural Peyote-stitched object. My Bernina sewing machines are workhorses for sewing through layers of canvas or creating a delicate decorative stitch. Good thread – not the icky stuff that tangles and breaks and offloads lint. Strong, sharp beading and sewing needles penetrate with ease. Consistent and accurate Lindstrom jewelry pliers and cutters. And finally, a big mug of coffee in the morning. With, perhaps, something a bit more grown-up later in the day.

 

Where can people see your work?

 

You may have seen my work at a few Pacific Northwest shows, including Redmond Arts Festival, YWCA RAGS Wearable Art Show and Sale (Tacoma), Gig Harbor Summer Arts Festival, Celebrate Woodinville, Affordable Art for Everyone (Hillsboro, OR). Also invited to Nassau County Museum of Art Craft and Fine Arts Fair (Roslyn Harbor NY), produced by the American Concern for Art and Craftsmanship and Uncommon Threads Art-to-Wear Show, Fine Line Creative Arts Center (St. Charles, IL). Feel free to browse Flying Goat Studio for more.

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