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Artist Interview – Chloe Raymond

The elegant, geometric wood carved sculptures of Chloe Raymond are architectural while conveying lightness and heaviness at the same time. Since meeting Chloe at a local art meetup I’ve admired her work and wanted to learn more about her process and background.

Chloe Raymond

CS: When did you first discover you were an artist?

CR: For as long as I can remember I have been artistic and I thank my parents for that. I remember doing crafts with my mom and sitting on my dad’s lap drawing pictures. Through elementary, middle, and high school, art was one of my greatest loves and it seemed natural to continue my involvement with art into college. I guess the point at which I began to think of myself “artist” was when I had the opportunity to show my work outside of the academic setting. Then when I sold my first carving it solidified that idea a little more.

CS: How did you get into woodworking?

CR: I first began woodworking in the fall of 2010. It was my sophomore year at Linfield and I was enrolled in a sculpture class taught by Nils Lou. The first day of class Nils took us into the wood shop handed us a section of a 2×4 and said, “Make something interesting.” At that point I had very little experience in the shop so I was absolutely terrified. The thing about that project was that there was no time line. My piece evolved completely over the course of two months! Some people may think that amount of time spent on a 2×4 is excessive, but for me that made all the difference. I think that is why “time” is such a prevalent theme within my work.

While I was working on the 2×4 project I had a lot of input from Nils and from another professor named Totem Shriver. Totem is a wood carver himself and encouraged me to see what I could do with a nice piece of wood and better tools.

Chloe Raymond

CS: What is your favorite tool in the studio? and where do you find the wood for your work?

CR: My favorite tool in the studio is my little battery powered circular saw. It is efficient and compact and perfect for making small cuts. Way less stressful than wrestling with a full size circular saw.
I have a lot of great resources in the valley, but my mentor has been very gracious and has given me a lot of material to work with. Recently, I have made connections in Central Oregon, but usually I will take a trip to McMinnville and do some wood shopping.

Chloe Raymond

CS: What is your process? Do you have a plan before you start working on a piece? Or do you have to let the wood dictate where you go?

CR: Personally, I like to have my extra material out so I can walk by it everyday. That way I can have an idea of what design will best fit the individual piece of wood. Sometimes it takes months!
I like looking at modern or minimalist architecture and usually that is where my inspiration comes from. I have a sketchbook, but very rarely does a completed piece look anything like my initial idea. In school many of my professors promoted the idea of starting with a mark and then reacting to that mark by making another. Sometimes the wood dictates the placement of those marks… I try to go with the flow. It is interesting working with a material that can have it’s own ideas at time. It keeps me on my toes.

CS: When you aren’t in the studio what do you do?

CR: Currently, I’ve been training for the Portland marathon… So when I am not carving I am usually running, eating, or sleeping! I also volunteer at Sarabella Upcycled in Bend. I get to work with wonderful people and spend my time working on projects that are making a difference!

Chloe Raymond

CS: What are you working on or thinking about now?

CR: As of now I am just trying to be present. That has been a bit difficult as I am thinking about everything that I have to get done in the next couple of months. Preparing for two shows, a marathon, and a handful of other events have consumed the past 10 months of my life. Now, deadlines are quickly approaching and I am anxious to see how everything is going to turn out! We will see what happens.

CS: Where can we find your work? Do you have any upcoming shows?

CR: As of now, you can find my work at Freed Gallery in Lincoln City. I have two upcoming shows, one of them being at Lumin Art Studios on the 2nd Saturday of September. The next show will be at the Oxford Hotel in downtown Bend during the month of October.

To learn more about Chloe Raymond visit www.chloeraymond.com.



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