Stop by the shop soon to see our newest effort in person!
Flutter has a clutch of new artists showing their hot stuff in the store, and all month we’ve been giving them the spotlight by hosting their trunk shows. This week the big tent of our three ring circus is devoted to Gossamer, a duo of wonderful ladies whose are as bold and beautiful as the jewelry they create. Some of my favorite things in the store are Gossamer designs, like the hairpins and rings made with vintage buttons. I love when Vicki brings in the whole tub of them, and I get to sift my fingers through the glittering rhinestones and bakelites and beads. Everyone has their own personal favorites, of course, but I get to choose before everyone else and so I am VERY LUCKY. The Gossamer ladies also make leather cuffs and necklaces that are tough and sexy. They’re really good at what they do. Come by Flutter on December 16th (that’s this Wednesday!) to see for yourself, and check out the Gossamer Blog for more pictures and updates. The amazing photo above, taken by Lara Blair, gives you just a taste of what Gossamer is capable of.
FLUTTER: What are some things that inspire you?
Vicki Wooten: Everything pretty much inspires me. I’m sure I could even find inspiration in a rock. Some of my favorite artists are Gustav Klimt, Waterhouse, Frida Kahlo, Erte and Georgia O’Keefe. As far as my taste in movies: period pieces and vintage black & white movies because I have always been interested in costume design. I have collected vintage and antique millinery, buttons, textiles, clothing and jewelry most of my life and am especially drawn to the 1920s. Being the book junky that I am, I have never met a design book I didn’t like. I have a pretty extensive library on art, fashion, jewelry design, textiles, interior design and the list just goes on and on. Musically I can appreciate all genres of music. I secretly wish that I would have been a teenager in the 60s so I could hang out in Haight Ashbury and would have been at Woodstock. Yes, I even thought I was Janis Joplin in my teens. But now I listen to old school western. The “Man In Black” Johnny Cash is #1 with me.
FL: If you could choose a few other professions, any at all, school-be-damned, what would they be?
VW: A profession that would give me the flexibility to work from my home that of course would be a farmhouse in the country. Perhaps a textile designer, writer or an artist that makes money!
FL: If you had an astronomical budget for materials, what strange and beautiful things would you work with?
VW: My business partner Beth and I already use amazing vintage embellishments and found objects such as millinery, textiles, buttons, feathers, gems, metal, hardware, etc. Having an endless amount of money would let us purchase expensive materials, more of the same, things that in the past we would have had to pass up. We would go “On the Road Again” driving throughout the USA in my very cute cherry red vintage pickup with an airstream in tow stopping at every thrift store and weird hole in the wall shop in search of unique treasures that we can incorporate in to our jewelry designs. If I had all the money in the world I would still want to search for the material myself because for me there is nothing like the thrill of the hunt. Since I am a true Oregonian I would always maintain a home in Oregon but would love to have a home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
FL: If you could live in the past, in any era, when and where would you live? Why?
VW: Being the rebel that I am I would have loved to live in Paris in the 1920’s. Consuming the free spirited Bohemian Lifestyle of self-expression, creative energy and their nonconformist attitudes… besides all the excitement of the times with Josephine Baker dancing at the Folies-Bergere, the modern art movement, Erte and the birthplace of Art Deco. What else could a girl want? My art and life have always been surrounded by people, places and events that embrace the true bohemian life. By creating art & furnishings from recycled materials/found objects, they really created a world of their own. Free to be who they are, myself included.
FL: The best way to spend a rainy day is…
A few months ago I threw a handful of questions to Sonia Kasparian, of Urchin Design. I’ll reprint and repost her answers for the Winterview series, with some new pictures to keep things updated. Also, I have since discovered that when working with sportswear company Roxy, she designed their lady’s boardshort! The one that revolutionized the surfwear industry and made Roxy the giant it is today! Wow. Lucky for us, Sonia’s penchant for couture pointed her in a glamorous new direction. I love how much you can learn about an artist based on their interviews. For instance, when I asked Sonia which movie she’d like to have done costumes for, her answer was revealing: Brazil, the freaky futuristic masterpiece by Terry Gilliam. Her love of baroque details and metallic greige would have redefined the film’s take on fraught couture. Sonia has a velvet touch with old dresses, gently and deftly handsewing and coaxing them into new creatures. It’s like each dress is an Eliza Doolittle, and she’s Henry Higgins giving them a glamorous new lease on life. Hey, she should design for the remake of My Fair Lady while she’s at it. Below is the complete, in-depth q&a; with the genius herself:
Who would I want to collaborate with?
SONIA KASPARIAN: PJ Harvey.
FL:What movie would I want to have worked on the costumes for?
SK (hey we have the same initials!):Brazil definately..
FL:What is my favorite food?
FL:What is the biggest risk on a random night out with me?
SK:That I may rescue a stray cat or a large piece of matter…ie wood, metal whatever to make something out of.
FL:If you weren’t sewing, what would you be doing?
SK:A million things. Gardening, making art, working out, seeing friends…….
Whats your background?
SK:Well, I went to Otis/Parsons school of art & design in L.A., intending to come out a fine artist, but took a summer class at the local college in illustration to try to figure out how I would make a living while being an artist, and the instructor came in drunk the first 2 classes. I took that as a sign to go into fashion as my major, and do fine art, not commercial, for myself.
What would you do if you were not an artist or fashion designer?
SK:Architecture for sure. I would have chosen that first, but was told at the time that you need to be really good at math, and since math makes me almost break out in hives………..anyway, now I hear there are computers or something that calculate that for you.. Sigh.
Sonia’s lovely Urchin line is always available at Flutter, but on December 10th from 5-8 we will also be hosting her trunk show!
Check out more of Urchin’s Designs on Flutter’s Designer page. Sonia will do custom fitting for all her pieces, and she has been known to create dresses to a client’s specifications as well!
Jess Mccloskey is the genius behind Paper Treasure, and the newest bright star on the Flutter team of designers. Her free-form approach to jewelry making results in truly inspired, one of a kind pieces. Jess names all of her jewelry pieces after actual shipwrecks, and includes a small historical note with each piece. Growing up near the ocean, she was always fascinated by the idea of lost and buried treasure, and I imagine that her work area must look a lot like the contents of an old treasure chest. I admit my first experience with her jewelry was a bit like that rush a treasure hunter would get upon a discovery. There was a necklace with a heavy silver coin, really old and worn and mysterious, and as I held it I could feel a link to the past and to what that coin had meant a hundred years ago. It is thrilling to be around such gorgeous relics when I am at work, but sometimes it’s the small pieces that really give me pause. Jess likes to work with vintage pendants, aged beads, bits of filigree and chain, and she is always hunting for old lockets, charms and trinkets. Her jewelry reflects genuine love and respect for the materials, and her artful arrangements make each piece feel like the end of a magical treasure hunt. See for yourself at her trunk show here at Fluttter December 4th, from 5 to 8 pm, or check out the paper treasure website.
the Paper Treasure interview, Flutter 2009
-what works of art do you find inspiring? music? film? books?
Right now I am listening to lots of Kristen Hersh, Galaxie 500 and Jana Hunter. I discovered Jana Hunter on Pandora and I can’t get enough of it. She’s the most exciting new musician I’ve discovered in a long time. As for films, I really like watching documentaries on artists, my favorite of this sort is How to Draw a Bunny about the incredible collage/ performance artist Ray Johnson. I also really love period movies because I the costuming is so inspirational. I just watched Aimee & Jaguar which is based on one of my favorite novels and the 1930s/ 40s styling in it is so spectacular. Anna Karenina is my all time favorite novel as well as anything by Rick Bass. I am currently on a Henry Miller kick and recently discovered the joy that is listening to books online! (Now that’s what I call multi-tasking!) I also love looking at circus photography books from the 1930′s and Victorian jewelry books.
-if you could choose a few other professions, any at all,
school-be-damned, what would they be?
Lately, I’ve been dreaming of going back to school to become a metalsmith. It seems like the next logical progression for my jewelry. I’d love to be able to cast my own charms. I’ve been keeping a little sketchbook of designs so that I’ll be all ready when the time comes! Other professions I would consider are speech pathology or something involving natural medicine.
-if you could live in the past, in any era, when and where
would you live? why?
I would live in 1920′s/30s Paris because I’m so intrigued by the portraits that both Anais Nin and Henry Miller created of that time and place.
-if you had an astronomical budget for materials, what
strange and beautiful things would you work with? where
would you live?
If money were no object then I would use gold to create my own charms and I would have oodles of beautifully carved Victorian lockets. In fact, I would have piles and piles of Victorian and 1920′s jewelry to reconstruct. I would have tons of volcanite and jet glass. I would still live here but I would have enough money to constantly travel around the country to collect beautiful bits of jewelry to use in my creations.
the best way to spend a rainy day is..
Wandering through thrift stores in search of treasure.