Published on September 11, 2007 in Spotlight
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This interview is an excerpt from a series profiling Etsy seller lorimarsha.
This week at DIYthing we will feature lorimarsha, a textile designer. I fell in love with Lori’s work a couple of weeks ago when I discovered her on Etsy.
Lori reminds me a lot of myself, except Lori lives the life that I only dream of…I have spent several hours looking over her site and her photos on flickr. I love to look at photos because you can tell so much about how a person sees the world through their camera lens.
diything: Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
lorimarsha: Primarily through visual stimulation. I am inspired by color and interesting mixes of texture. I love walking through areas like Chinatown in San Francisco and eyeing the layers of satin shoes, plump pincushions and paper lanterns. Or driving through East LA and seeing the vibrant murals and hand painted signs. I love store windows and on a recent trip to Paris was treated to an Hermes’ display of orange that is seared into my memory. So, travel — day trips especially — provide inspiration to set my own creative wheels spinning. On those days, I can’t wait to get back home and get to work.
diything: Do you have any inspirations?
lorimarsha: My favorite designers are John Galiano, Christian LaCroix, Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood. I also love… Graffiti. Architecture. Random imagery. Robert Rauschenberg. Andy Warhol. There’s a long list.
I work primarily with recycled materials, enjoying the idea of redefining the lives of discarded objects. My jewelry combines seemingly incongruent elements such as vintage copper sports medals with natural crystals, Bakelite buttons and sterling findings. My one-of-a-kind handbags — reconstructed leather skirts — bear little resemblance to their original form.
diything: How do you decide on color for your designs?
lorimarsha: Since 90% of my raw materials is recycled, I try very hard to keep things organized by color. For example, all of my silk scarves are laundered, pressed and layered on hangers in color groups. That way, if I’m in an orange mood, I just head toward orange.
diything: Where do you sell your wares?
lorimarsha: I have on online store on Etsy. It’s a venue dedicated to all things handmade. I used to wholesale my work to galleries and boutiques but two years ago I transitioned to one-of-a-kind pieces only and backed out of the large handmade markets. I also do a few local shows each year. Two of them are held in my home with several other artists participating. It’s fun to be face to face with people who enjoy what I do and get their feedback. It makes the solitary days worthwhile.