Handmade Highlights: Jody Cedzidlo Interviewed by Bett Wilson Foley of Chatham Arts Council

01 February, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

[Although she’s all the way on the other side of the States, Jody is one of those artists we just have way too much fun interacting with via emails. The fact that she’s in North Carolina and we’re in California doesn’t seem to make a difference, her amazingly fun attitude translates through text very well. Reading up on this article by Bett Foley of the Chatham Arts Council in NC was quite interesting a number of ways, one of them being that its coming from a perspective where their folks are “locals.” Learning that Jody is also a total math nerd didn’t surprise me at all, her personality fits that quite well, heh.] 

2015-0112 CAC_Meet This Artist_Jody Cedzidlo_Photo_Jody in Apron_Feature Size

Artist Jody Cedzidlo is the founder of Flytrap, a line of hand-printed botanically-themed dresses, scarves, tees, and accessories that she operates from her backyard studio in Pittsboro. Like many passions, this one started with a seed of an idea. It grew from late nights printing on a kitchen table to a full-service, family-run design and apparel company that sells to customers nationwide.

“After I studied Printmaking at UNC, I worked for several different screen printing shops in both North Carolina and Florida, and in 2008, I started a line of screen printed clothing featuring my own designs, I went full time with Flytrap in 2009.  We rented a commercial space and bought professional equipment in 2011, only to realize what I really wanted was to work at home among my own garden beds and close to my own kitchen.”  The following year, she and her husband Eric bought their current house and set up a backyard screen printing workshop and basement darkroom. Flytrap has blossomed ever since.

From the Artist

Describe your artistic past and present in three sentences:  I grew up making colored pencil drawings of my mom’s house plants and imaginary jungle scenes, and this all culminated in a high school project illustrating medicinal plants. Then when I studied Studio Art at UNC, I took a little time off plants to focus on color theory and the autobiographical sort of work you might expect from a 20-something figuring out her identity.  I’m currently back on plants, though — my true loves, all along.

What are you currently working on?  This year, we are going to release a line of incredibly soft, luxurious infinity scarves in an organic cotton/bamboo blend.  I am working on four new designs for those, and I want each one to be multi-color and incredibly eye-catching.  You’ll only see a small portion of the design at any one time due to the scrunchy nature of an infinity scarf, so they’ll have to pack a lot of punch!

Anything else you want folks to know about you and your work? The screen printing process is as much science as it is art and really appeals to the meticulous, nerdy side of me.  That old cliche about the messy, free-spirited artist kind of misses the mark sometimes.

2015-0112 CAC_Meet This Artist_Jody Cedzidlo_Photo_As a ChildYour childhood in a nutshell: I was constantly in the woods!  I knew all the plants that grew around my house and where I could find each of them.  My favorite game was playing “peasants,” meaning I would don a bohemian-type layered skirt and collect pretend foodstuffs for winter.  My treehouse had shelves lined with glass jars full of acorns, moss, sweetgum, whatever I could find. I dyed my Barbie’s clothing in pokeberry juice and collected wild strawberries from the vacant lot across the street.

I am inspired by: gardens, patterns, color theory

When I see someone wearing my clothing: I get butterflies in my stomach.

5 words that describe me:  practical, genuine, meticulous, sensitive, passionate

Now ask your husband to describe you in 5 words: active, meticulous, curious, humorous, sensitive

I’m most proud of:  the life my husband and I have built together in complete self-employment. (Eric teaches guitar lessons full-time while I screen print.)

When I’m not in my studio I like to:  cook, garden, hike, knit, and put together jigsaw puzzles.

Some jobs I’ve had:  dishwasher in a seafood restaurant, vitamin salesperson, barista, muralist, gas station attendant, making snow cones at a putt putt course

When I was little I wanted to be:  “a secretary” (I didn’t know the word “entrepreneur” at the time.)

Most people don’t know: I attended the NC School of Science and Mathematics and loved math before I ever loved art.

My perfect day: big brunch with lots of coffee, a super long hike in the Pacific Northwest, then sitting in a sauna at a fancy hotel spa to soothe my tired muscles, then shameless room service dinner and a movie in bed

Five things you’ll find in my purse: I actually make it a habit to convince my husband to carry my license and some lip balm so I can leave the house empty-handed, free as you please.

My favorite restaurants in Chatham County & what I eat there: I love the falafel in pita at Angelina’s Kitchen – I get mine with tzatziki, tabouli, cucumbers, and olives.  And I’m not going to lie –  the egg and cheese biscuit from Al’s Diner is a pretty common occurrence in our household too.

Chatham County artists who inspire me:  Debbie Roos!  Not just her amazing photography, but the garden design that makes the photography possible in the first place.  Her love for gardens and plants is palpable and contagious.

Where you can buy my Flytrap goods locally:  Liquidambar in Pittsboro and Vespertine in Carrboro


About Bett Wilson Foley

Bett is a Chatham Arts Council Board member. She grew up in Chatham County [North Carolina], and moved back here after some years away. She spends her days gardening, arranging flowers, shooting photographs, hiking, and spending time with my family and four dogs. Her earliest creative memory is of drawing with her sisters.

About the Chatham Arts Council

The Chatham Arts Council nurtures creative thinkers in Chatham County.

That’s the short version. But other folks do that, too. Here’s what makes us unique:

We’re the ones who put our arms around the artists and the kids of Chatham County.

Yep. We’ve focused in on doing two things and doing them really well:

We launched this new identity for the Chatham Arts Council in November 2014, a crazy exciting leap after a full two years of internal work and outreach in the community.

Chatham County is home to an astonishing number of artists and arts appreciators—and we’re looking forward to being the arts council this county deserves.

via: Meet This Artist: The Meticulous, Plant-Loving Jody Cedzidlo – Chatham Arts Council.


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