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Where are you from originally and where do you live now?

I grew up here in Charleston, SC for the most part.


What inspired this series of works?

I get a lot of inspiration from bead stores, and in addition, sewing notions, figure skater costumes, Vintage dresses, couture garments, printed fabric, and watercolor paintings.

How are these pieces made? What kind of process do you use to infuse the fabric so beautifully with color?

I create these works by stretching the surface with a tan jersey material, and adding diluted dye pigment. The colors swirl around and change a lot through as they dry, which I can't control, but it offers another way to connect with the piece. I add beads one by one to accentuate the movement, which is really calming and satisfying.


You are an artist and a seamstress. Have you always had these parallel interests?

I've always painted and made different forms of art, but I began sewing as a teenager, and it just kind of stuck. I love figuring out how garments are constructed and thinking about the order of operations spatially. Making artwork with sewing techniques is really freeing because I can use the skills to make things that are more delicate, and don't have to hold up to everyday wear.

What is it like to be a seamstress, an occupation which has become an increasingly rare?

It is funny, because it's true that sewing skipped a generation, and when meeting other seamstresses there is an instant bond like we're wizards or something. Sewing is empowering, to know how to repair clothing yourself and make garments fit. It's crazy to think that a hundred years ago everyone used to be familiar with sewing out of necessity. It will always be a useful trade, especially now as manufacturing jobs are moving back onshore.

In your work you push boundaries in your use of materials. What is the next frontier?

I've started to use sequins, which have a totally different look and connotation than beads. I love sequins because they can be so cheesy that they transcend the tackiness and become really amazing. I also want to incorporate more bead weaving, and create more minimal quilted canvas works.


.Camela's website.


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