Kathy Schenkel is one of my favorite designers, I didn’t know it, but I instinctively have picked her pieces when I wanted to buy myself something special to stitch. Her line encompasses a variety of totally addictive designs, including ornaments finished as 3-D rolls (I’m making a graduation one of these for my son), cubes (I’ve got a sheep one of these, pictures, mini-socks (a cow for me), and my new addiction, a series of “drink” coasters.
You can see all of her delightful designs on her website at https://www.kathyschenkel.com/
You’ll love her designs too. Here’s a look, in her own words, into
her designer’s world.
How did you get started designing?
I started designing needlepoint canvases after I had my children.
I was looking for a way to continue working and be with them at the
same time. I have an education (B.A. and M.F.A.) and work experience in the field of Graphic Design, so designing needlepoint canvas came naturally!
What are the things you like best about needlepoint?
I just love needlepoint! I love the texture and the richness of
needlepoint! I love the decorative stitches and new threads. I love
being able to incorporate all of them into a finished piece.
How would you describe your style?
I would have to describe my “style” as plain and simple. I like
clean lines and feel that “less is more”.
What are your main influences when you design?
I’m not sure what influences my designs the most. I think we are
all the sum of our life experiences and lots of things come together in a design. Anything can trigger an idea, and sometimes, when you least expect it!
What are your goals (if any) when you make up a new design?
When I design something new, I want it to be the best that it can
be. I try to design things that appeal to me and that I want to have around me.
I would characterize many of your designs as breaking the traditional conceptions of needlepoint and how to use it? What kind of things along these lines can we expect in the future?
I think a lot of my designs are nontraditional. It is always fun to introduce a new idea that doesn’t fit the norm and see how people react. The carrots, Indian corn, and cake slices are examples of fun ways to use needlepoint three-dimensionally. I will be introducing another new three-dimensional idea in ornaments at the Columbus 2003 market and I think it will have broad appeal!
Which do you prefer stitching or designing?
I love to design and stitch as well! Both are therapeutic in different ways. I am rarely without a stitching project in hand, but designing is mostly limited to my studio. Of course, ideas come anytime and anywhere!
Can you describe a bit about how you work?
I usually begin with an idea for a new product, a new concept, or a new look. If I am working on something that will be three-dimensional, I first try putting it together with blank canvas. If the product will be flat, I may experiment with different ways of finishing it before I even begin putting the actual design on canvas. It is a trial and error process; there is no magic.