Friday, April 17, 2009

Boxes: The Perfect Mother's Day Solution

So I decided it was time to take the wood burnings to a new dimension and finished three of these tiny 3" x 3" x 2" trinket boxes. Needless to say the response I've been getting is: "My mother would love this!" It happens to be the perfect price and size for Mother's Day which I almost forogt about! Good timing on my part!

If these do well on my Etsy store I am going to go to the Rebuilding Center and go a little crazy with some scrap wood. (Unfortunately as these are my experimental prototypes, they are not made from scrap.)

So, other than being busy with these I am contemplating participating in Last Tursdays on Alberta. I've never been and wanted to scope it out beforehand, but now that I've been reminded of Mother's Day maybe I should just dive in!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New Work Added to Etsy

So I've finally gotten around to adding new work to my Etsy store! Check out some of the new pieces.

Next up: a colorful series inspired by the beautiful Spring blooms that are popping up all over Portland. Has the weather not been beautiful or what? Too bad it won't last!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Handmade Nation at The Museum of Contemporary Craft

I really enjoyed this documentary that was premiered in Portland this weekend at The Museum of Contemporary Craft.

It beautifully traces how "craft" has evolved from a hobby into an independent movement, as a reborn appreciation for handmade items has arisen as a rejection of the sterility and unethical practices associated with mass production.

Director Faythe Levine interviews several artists and business owners who are active in the handmade circuit for a personal look into their lives and practice. The highlights for me personally were Mandy Greer, whose work can be seen at the Museum through May, and Nikki McClure from Olympia WA, whose work recently hung in Powell's Books and whose calendars are carried in bookstores everywhere!

These artists are perfect examples of women working with traditional craft methods to transcend the fine line between craft and art.

Art is impossible to define because it is totally subjective. Craft is usually linked to the idea of something that can be used: soap, clothing, dolls etc. One might say that something leaves the world of craft and enters into the realm of art once it has been elevated to uselessness.

Mandy Greer takes a traditional medium, crochet and uses it in a way where the crocheted material loses it's practicality as a textile. She stages crochetathons which are real life collaborative performances where she teaches people the traditional craft of crochet. then she takes the mishapped remnants and creates fantastical installations that create entirely otherworldly environments.

Nikki McClure takes the traditional Craft of paper cutting and calendar making to make beautifully detailed and masterfully crafted illustrations remniscent of wood block prints. She plans to take her work into the realm of public art by recreating her smaller paper cuts into large metal pieces. I especially enjoyed when she shared how she got started on the paper cut track. She was sitting around her studio trying to figure out what to make for one of her upcoming shows. She was just doodling around when she started cutting out shapes in paper...suddenly a light bulb went off and the rest is history. It just goes to show how sometimes the simplest ideas that come when we least expect them turn out to be the greatest ones!

If this film is screened near you, don't hesitate! It is worth seeing! For more info visit the Handmade Nation blog. Also, if you live in Portland check out Mandy Greer before the show ends. Admission to The Museum of Contemporary Craft is FREE so you have no excuse!

An Introduction


My name is Marissa Laubscher. I'm an artist living and working in Portland, OR. I've decided to start a blog tracking my adventures in the Portland art and craft scene. I am sure this blog will evolve with my interests! I thank you for reading!

I maintain an Etsy store here :
and I have an online portfolio at