Charity Ridpath

Charity Ridpath

About The Artist

Charity Ridpath • Austin, TX

Charity Ridpath grew up above a capped-off landfill. Erosion unearthed years of trash and illegally dumped chemicals until the spaces she played in shut down. With this experience as a creative guide, she wonders how her waste will impact future generations. To connect with this question, she uses single-use and waste plastics to create jewelry inspired by various imagined futures and presently endangered ecosystems.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

I create all of my work by hand in my home studio. With each new design, I start by making small material manipulation samples. I cut, heat, score, fold, sew, layer, and iterate. With each iteration, I recreate the part I saw potential in until I have a technique I like. I enjoy learning to work with various materials and media and use this collection of skills to work with unconventional materials like single-use and waste plastics.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

Like many people, I struggle with the idea that many things I buy will outlast me on this planet, especially single-use packaging I have spent only seconds touching. There need to be proper systems in place to help us manage waste effectively, and it can feel overwhelming to learn more as there aren't clear or consistent solutions. Working with single-use and waste plastics allows me to process these big concepts without being disconnected by guilt and shame.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

People are often surprised that my jewelry is made from everyday items like strawberry containers or bubble wrap. They tend to appreciate first how a piece moves, plays with the light, or reminds them of a formation in nature. Once I point out the embossed plastic number or circles from the bubble wrap, an understanding dawns on them. I love creating a balance between transforming the material and leaving moments of connection to its original function.