|Satin Corset solid body fragrance by For Strange Women|
I am an electronic artist and analogue “craftress” in Kansas City, MO. As an artist my first language was dance, then music, and now perfumery, and although they seem as if they would be very different, these disciplines are truly interconnected. Balance, harmony, acute sensory perception, and creative alchemy will always draw me into their magic.
I have a “professional” background in video, graphic design, screen-printing, and photography. I refuse to work for “the man” anymore though.
No, I am a self-teacher. I experiment a lot and I go with my instincts, always.
The moon and the kitty cats I encounter on my walks around the neighborhood.
How do you know when a scent is complete?
I usually already have the exact scent I am wanting to make in my mind before I begin making it. For this reason, sometimes it takes a really long time to create a perfume. Some have taken as long as a year to get right.
Absinthe seems to be really popular these days in the form of novelty items. We love your absinthe lips at Flutter. Could you describe the taste for those of us who have never tried absinthe?
“Absinthe is a very bright, sharp taste, similar to black licorice but not as harsh or dark. It is often prepared with sugar so when it is sweetened it tastes like a really delicious candy, and almost minty.”
Where do you find inspiration and ideas for new products?
I just make anything that I wish existed (but to my knowledge does not.) I think a lot of people have great original ideas all the time, and the inspiration is not as difficult to harness as the motivation to do it.
My favorite product is always the new one that is next on the list to make. I have tons of ideas lined up and not enough time to make all of them, and when I am working on something new I can hardly stand it because there has been so much thought and anticipation to get to the point where I am developing it!
Yes, I designed it. I have made other websites in the same way, where each page is a “room” in my virtual space. I am a cancer and inviting people to my home is very satisfying to me, as well as working from home. Most of the furnishings are actual photos I took of things around my house and I just arranged them on a lovely vintage wallpaper background. My home does not have lovely vintage wallpaper, though.
What films, music and fine art do you find inspiring these days?
I have been listening to Broken Bells a lot lately… I love music that has texture and organic sounds layered throughout a well developed soundscape. I used to do a lot of audio design and music production so I really have an appreciation for well produced albums, which there are not much of anymore! Everything is done so fast and cheap, and so much has been lost in the digital landscape.
I love documentaries, and am going to True/False fest with my boyfriend next week-ish. We are also working on a documentary that will be out next year. My favorite painters of the moment are Colette Calascione and Swanbones.
Thank you so much to Jill for granting us this interview. Stop in a see, and smell these amazing products at Flutter, or visit our online shop to order.
We’ve got a new batch of cards in Flutter, beautiful bold silhouette images on soft pastels. The artist behind these designs is Leigh Batnick, aka JEZEBEL. JEZEBEL also produces tees and totes with the same classic feminine imagery. Flutter caught up with JEZEBEL for an interview, and to reorder cards, natch!
FL-what works of art do you find inspiring? music? film? books?
J -Books, books, books, films, films, films, music, music, music. Little,
Big by John Crowley, Virginia Woolf, childhood classics, Jeanne Moreau,
Hitchcock, drawing room comedies, Bergman, Daisies, early Disney, Bob
Dylan, Billie Holiday, Leonard Cohen.
FL -if you could chose a few other professions, any at all, school-be-damned,
what would they be?
FL-if you could live in the past, in any era, when and where would you live?
J- New York, always and anytime. With plentiful travels to Big Sur,
Laurel Canyon, Paris, Mozambique, the Greek Islands.
FL-the best way to spend a rainy day is..
J -with the record player whirling lazily and near-silent, as KP plays
his guitar, while Teepee & Coral listen intently. The bedroom floor will
be covered with discarded sections from the Times and a round of magazines
and a stack of books and the coffee will flow and the Kobo Grapefruite e
Tabaco will burn.
.correspondence for the vagabond heart.
.from brooklyn, with love.
Vagabond Picnic by Jezebel, a fine jewelry line featuring 14k rose gold
ants interlocked in a labour of love, and new t-shirts and tote bags are
available at www.jezebelstationery.etsy.com. Wander through Jezebel’s dark
forest at www.jezebelstationery.blogspot.com.
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.
This winter we’re awash with art from our dear cadre of designers, everything from handmade dresses, jewelry and millinery to homestitched books and paintings and papier mache masks. In order to better document and display all this great art, we are doing a winter interview series (winterview! ): I’ll showcase one artist a week and attach as much juicy pictoral as I can. Enjoy!
This week: Zelda English, of the multimedia art duo Captain Cat . The name comes from Dylan Thomas’ poem “Under Milk Wood”, an epic which addresses the casual beauty in everyday life. Their art reflects this literary reference conceptually and substantially, as each portrait depicts a writer or inventor as an animal. I definitely see some rakish Kerouac quality in the ram, maybe a Joyceishness in the squirrel. English and her collaborator Rodrigo Neto also create folkloric papier mache masks celebrating old world songs and stories from their childhoods- hers in Portland, Oregon and his in Porto, Portugal. They met at a bus stop about 88km south of Salamanca Spain a couple of years ago and have been conspirators ever since. -sk
Flutter- Have you always worked in papier mache, or were there earlier incarnations of your artistic inclinations?
Zelda English-I was a costume and set designer for a theater company for years . I have worked in many mediums but paper is a texture i am especially drawn to and costumes have always enthralled me so papier mache masks were a natural endeavour for us. This project was the product of a Collaboration between myself and Rodrigo Neto. Initially when we came up with the idea I think it was in part because of our time constraints, I remember we had talked about a collaboration briefly on my visit to Portugal last fall and at that time were unsure what medium to peruse but when Rodrigo arrived this spring to the states we knew we would have around 6 months to come up with a presentable body of work, we chose papier mache because of its sculptural quality and also its availability. We filled my truck with cardboard from dumpsters and paper grocery bags from recycling bins and began to build. We transformed the living room of my old Portland farm house into a temporary studio and promptly filled it with salvaged supplies. over the summer we carved the cardboard on the front porch and papier mache-ed out under the clothes line.
F-Did you study art in school?
ZE-Rodrigo is a formally trained painter with a degree in fine arts. He now works as a college level professor of art in Portugal. My Training was much more informal and came from various mentors, the first and foremost being my parents who were both painters and all-around creative, innovative people. I am 26 now and have been very lucky in this life time to have been in the presence of brilliant minds all throughout my years. I teach art and music through a summer workshop program to children aged 5 and up. I feel Art and Education should be Synonymous especially in a town so renowned for forward thinking. I want to be apart of making that happen. I have always planned on starting my own school.
F- You work with a partner. How does that shape the artistic process for you? How do you guys divvy up the work?
ZE- I am a natural at working collaboratively, I love being a part of something that takes on life and meaning because of the life and meaning of the interactions of those creating it. I even love the challenges and frustrations that come along with it because of the way that those obstacles force you to grow as a person in order to overcome them. Being a strong willed artist and working closely with someone as skilled and intelligent as Rodrigo Neto is a great ongoing experience, I think we definitely learn a lot from each other and from the projects themselves. As far as sharing the work load, it definitely comes easy. Rodrigo has such a strong set of talents diverse in certain ways from my own strong points and so it seems things candidly take their form. For the most part he is the painter, I am the photographer, he is the tech support, I am the show coordinator, he is the voice of reason and I am the voice of certainty. We accomplish most tasks together. At the end of the day typically we are both covered in paint, paper and glue. We also do a lot of idea building, where one person says one thing and the other adds to it or alters it just slightly and then back and forth till a master plan has emerged. That process is fun and includes espresso and a lot of sarcastic jokes. When Rodrigo is home in Porto Portugal and I am stationed in Portland that process is nearly the same except via email. We tease each other a lot. We are currently in the beginning stages of our newest collaboration which is an elaborate puppet series. We hope to bring in a third collaborator on this project, a dear friend and terrifically talented artist also living in Portugal, Pedro Esperança.
F- You grew up in Portland, Oregon. How have Portland’s social changes in the last decade affected you?
ZE- I like being one of the few people who remember when Portland was a dilapidated Ghost town, run by Loggers, Pirates,
Wenches and Shanghaiers (I am speaking of the late 80’s / early 90’s of course). Recently I was at a bar and after about 4 minutes of menial conversation with some drunkie, I was asked where I was from, when I replied ” Here, I am from Portland ” the inebriate gasped and exclaimed “oh my god, you are like a UNICORN, i have heard your kind existed but still no one has ever seen one!!! “
you just have to laugh.
F- What music do you like to listen to? Do you listen to music while you make art?
ZE-While working in the studio we listened to Portuguese Radio a lot, also Rodrigo is an incredible Musician. The official soundtrack to the summer was him playing the piano in our house. In part, I even equate our ever having met each other to his music which inadvertently lead to our first interactions and subsequently our friendship. Everyday I wake up with music in my head. I like wild violins.
F-What are your feelings around collectives and art?
ZE- If the word collective at all refers to joined energies with a common goal, i think its an extremely necessary and beneficial thing. Whether the goal be artistic, community based or otherwise. I think in the aggregate we find ourselves stronger and more capable than ever a single particulate could be, having the ability or capacity for so much more than one energy alone can produce. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy solo projects, at least 80 percent of my art is a solo undertaking but the ability to join forces is a powerful one and seems to instill a rare satisfaction in its fruition.
I spoke with Sonia of URCHIN fame yesterday about posting this mini-showcase of her work online with a mini-bio to accompany it. We had a little banter about inspirations and sources, then I got down to the nitty gritty- which movie should she have done the costumes for? Her answer was revealing: Brazil, the gorgeous futuristic masterpiece of fantasy 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 loving 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. Sonia has great style intuition. Below is the complete, in-depth q&a; with the genius herself:
Who would I want to collaborate with?
What movie would I want to have worked on the costumes for?
What is my favorite food?
What is the biggest risk on a random night out with me?
That I may rescue a stray cat or a large piece of matter…ie wood, metal whatever to make something out of.
What are your cats names?
Well, they came from the shelter with names already which they seemed to respond too, so Bruno (the shell shocked one who was dragged behind a car) got to keep his name, as I figured he`d been through enough) and Oogie Boogie (my 2 year old fattie) became: Oogamus Maximus Shnorkimus Catimus. Which means Fat Oogie cat who shnorks when breathing.
If you weren’t sewing, what would you be doing?
A million things. Gardening, making art, working out, seeing friends…….
Whats your background?
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?
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.
of course Sonia’s lovely Urchin line is available at Flutter, but did we mention each of her beautiful creations can be custom fit to you or she can custom make a piece especially for you!
check out more of Urchin’s Designs on Flutter’s Designer page.
Here’s the recent article about Flutter in this month’s issue of Portland Monthly. Many thanks to Jill Spitznass and the Portland Monthly for including us in their fine publication!
by Jill Spitznass
Flutter owner Cindy Rokoff admits that, as a teenager in rural Kansas, she was embarrassed by her mother’s then-unfashionable gift for junking. “She’d pull the station wagon over to see if an old chair had potential,” Rokoff recalls. “I’d say, ‘Can’t we just go the mall and buy things?’”
Today, surrounded as she is by the collection of intriguing home and body items at her N Mississippi Avenue shop, it’s clear that Rokoff inherited her mom’s eye for the unsung beauty—or the charming quirkiness—of an object. A jumble of vintage woodcut letters is strikingly handsome, for example, when displayed in an elegant glass jar atop an antique table, while a stunning milk-glass chandelier hovers above a wooden boxful of chrome trophies resting on the velvet cushions of a 1930s couch. Meanwhile, eight finches (Flutter’s de facto mascots) chirp and preen inside an oversize French birdcage, entertaining shoppers who peruse reworked vintage apparel, classic holiday garlands, and imported bath luxuries.
Now the mother of two, Rokoff concedes that history is repeating itself at home. “I recently found my 9-year-old moving furniture around the house, and I thought, ‘Oh, no—it is genetic!’
Published: December 2008