Figurines at Mimosa Studios

Get Crafty at Mimosa Studios

We were recently featured in the Hollywood Star! Here’s the article by Janet Goetze.

“Craft materials include bottle corks and soy wax and bisque platters ready for little hand-prints. They also include sketch paper, fabric pieces and mugs awaiting decoration. Creative ideas take shape around the array of ink stamps, colored pens, specialty tapes and jewelry pieces available in local craft shops, say the owners of Collage and Mimosa Studio, both at Northeast 17th Avenue and Alberta Street.

The non-profit ScRAP, 2915 N.e. Martin luther King Jr. Blvd., can’t keep up with the demand for corks, just one of the materials for arts, crafts and offices donated to it by businesses, community groups and individuals. The reusable supplies are low-cost; and, meeting a major goal of ScRAP, they don’t line a landfill.

Whether it’s creativity or do-it-yourself impulses, Portlanders are seeking not only craft supplies but also classes that teach them new techniques, said Maria Raleigh, the owner of Collage, which she opened in 2004. The $5 Fridays and $10 Tuesdays classes, including supplies for the 90-minute sessions, regularly sell out, she said. embroidered heart pillows, glass etching and Valentine’s Day cards are among scheduled subjects. longer classes, lasting two to six hours with costs ranging from $20 to $70, include encaustic painting, basic calligraphy and beginning soldering.

Hand painted butter dish

At Mimosa, which owner Austin Raglione opened in 2001, staff members always are available to help customers paint a bisque bowl or butter dish. Then the item is fired for a shiny finish. The staff also helps with children’s birthday parties centered around ceramics painting. Adult parties can reserve the studio, too; and office groups can schedule team-building events around pottery projects. Collage also schedules adult and children’s parties around a craft, but ScRAP gatherings focus on children, who learn how to reuse materials creatively and are introduced to other sustainable habits, said Stephanie Stoller, the store director. craft classes may offer more than instruction, Raleigh suggested. “I think there’s a social aspect to it,” she said. “There’s a feeling of building a community. You’re learning with other people, and there’s something that people get from that.”

At Mimosa, said Raglione, people sit together, almost as if at a dinner table, while they explore what they can do with the materials. “There’s a sense of community,” she said; “and people can bond here.” A frequent Mimosa customer, Dick Feeney, periodically paints with family members, including his four grandchildren. Feeney, whose professional life has been in public policy areas, including 25 years with Tri-Met, has artists in his family but never had time to pursue artistic interests while he was working fulltime, he said. In retirement, he started painting pottery to make gifts for his wife and other family members. He estimates he has produced 100 pieces in recent years. He was surprised, he said, when he received compliments on his work. “It’s affirming,” he said. “At my age, I need that. It gives me purpose, meaning and legacy.”

customer Mr. Feeney painting with studio owner Austin

At ScRAP, said Marjorie Hirsch, a long-time customer who became a volunteer more than two years ago, she’s seeing young people revive the crafts that an older generation once did, such as embroidery.Hirsch, a fabric artist who managed the clark college gallery in Vancouver for a dozen years, said she appreciates ScRAP’s low prices for art and craft materials. A recent supply of stained-glass sheets sat at the back of the shop, not far from the barrel of leather pieces that some customers purchase for belts. ScRAP’s newest trend, Stoller said, is packaging related items, such as wrapping paper with gift tags, and small animals with items that might complete a collage.

At Collage, Raleigh said, new interests are miniatures for a terrarium or a three-dimensional diorama. Some crafters are assembling found objects and treasured items for a framed display with personal meaning. But what of all those corks that leave ScRAP at the rate of 25 cents for a handful or $4 for a filled grocery sack? They become miniature people or animals for some crafters. Near ScRAP’s cash register, Stoller pointed out, they are lined up in a frame to become a cork board.”