Sunday, May 27, 2012

We make Portland awesome: Polly Danger

"We make Portland awesome" is a weekly series. I’m interested building our community of artists by helping us all find out more about each other.
This week: Polly Danger

Who are you?
I’m Polly, a twenty-something lover of fine workmanship, cuteness, and over-the-top home interiors. I’m married to the cutest redheaded boy I know and we have 3 very quirky dogs and one snuggle-loving cat. Cuddling is at the center of our universe and is pretty much the fuel for my day.

What do you make?
I have a line of handmade sewing notions that includes bias tape, covered buttons, and kits and I also make accessories like button earrings and scalloped clutches. Everything I make is infused with as much cuteness as sewing notions and button earrings can possibly handle.

Besides making things, what do you do?
Normally this would seem like a trick question because my time is spent either making things for work, or making things for me! But I’m currently in the fifth month of a 9 month long crafty project- makin’ a baby! Being pregnant has put a skidding halt to my typical twelve hour crafty day and forced me to relearn the art of relaxation. Now I work in the mornings and spend the afternoons gardening, snuggling my dogs, and taking naps. When the weather gets warmer I’ll start working on our Mary Blair themed nursery and probably start on some baby-inspired sewing projects, but for now I’m really enjoying the downtime.

What inspires you?
I’m inspired by so many different things, but usually it’s either a fantastic piece of fabric or a really specific place and mood. Although home decor and appliqued clutches may not seem to have too much in common, I find that environment and creativity are impossible to separate. So when I feel stuck I put down my project and take a long look around my studio or my living room. I usually find inspiration just by resting my eyes on a green scalloped lamp shade or a vintage still life painting of flowers. If that fails then I go to my most sacred sources- an issue of The World of Interiors (March 2004) or I put on Amelie without subtitles. These are guaranteed to get my creative mojo working.

Where can your work be found?
In Portland my work is at Crafty Wonderland, where I am currently Artist of the Month. Beyond Portland I’m pleased to say that my work is represented from California to Massachusetts to Georgia, and internationally you can find my wares in France, Norway, the U.K., and Australia. A complete list of shops can be found on my website.

What do you love about Portland?
I love that it is possible for makers to earn a living here. My husband and I moved from Los Angeles where earning a handmade living involves the crafty equivalent of selling-out; screen printing snarky catchphrases or guns onto baby onesies was never something I would consider doing. So living in an area where I can explore and create from the heart while actually earning an income and meeting supportive peers and customers is like living in a dream. I also love the amazing network of crafters that exists here. There’s a spirit of camaraderie between artists that’s like any professional network, minus the ladder-climbing competition, that doesn’t exist in any other city I’ve lived in.

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