I am fascinated by the ‘small’ world around us...patterns in frost formations, lichen growth, the symmetry of cells and tiny organisms. In my work I aspire to create pieces that recall these patterns around us in nature; a marriage of the organic and geometric. Using various textures, colours, and incredible amounts of detail, my pieces convey richness, depth, and an appreciation for the small joys around us every day. - cL
Unique Jewellery & Textiles
While other children were shoving each other off of the monkey bars, Cheryl Laakes was in her rec room making shoes out of cardboard and stringing bead necklaces for her mum. At the age of 7, her well-beaded mother decided it was time for this girl to learn to knit, and soon Cheryl's Barbies were well kitted in woolen bathing suits and mini skirts.
As she got older, the knitting needles made way for sketching pencils, and drawing was the main focus of her school years. Then, during one particularly boring class (actually, it was a very interesting class – so interesting that Cheryl completed the entire semester’s work by mid-term and had nothing to do for the rest of the semester) the knitting needles came back out, and they also successfully distracted her from many a physics class the following year.
Since her school days, Cheryl spends as much time as possible exploring her creativity. Given her tendency to get right snarky without it, her family understands, and they smile and nod and are altogether very encouraging about her 'creative time'.
Largely self-taught, she works in a myriad of fibres, semi-precious stones, crystals, and glass. Exploring the boundaries of techniques and adapting methods from other media to create truly unique pieces, Cheryl’s work is one of a kind. Versed in techniques from spinning, tatting, embroidery, knitting, crochet, beading, wire working, pottery, clay sculpture, sketching, portraiture, smocking, card-weaving, macramé, polymer clay, batik, sewing, and quilting, Cheryl combines multiple strategies to coalesce into a single work. Often her pieces are the wondrous and functional results of experimenting with colour, texture, and technique-combining. From classically elegant jewellery in semi-precious stones and sterling silver, to funky multi-coloured chainmaille; from monochromatic embroidered pillows to whimsical porcelain faeries; from intricate wearable art to scarves and afghans that warm body and soul, Cheryl’s pieces are reminiscent of both the geometrically simple and the organically mesmerising. Currently Cheryl resides in Ontario.