July 30, 2014
Scout Cuomo doesn't know the meaning of the word unimaginable. Because her worlds are built on realizing the impossible. Unicorns? Easy. Magic forest? Done. An underwater abyss layered with darkness and light? Child's play. The only thing her art lacks is stillness: her creations move, breathe, swim and gallop. Scout's work is an exploration of life: from its vast skies and deep seas, down to its sinews and musculature. And there's always an element of whimsy. Not to mention she's the coolest, sweetest person ever. Basically, she does it all. She IS it all. Meet Scout Cuomo, who invited us to her studio one hot summer day and let us throw Ode clothes, hats, shoes, and some paint on her.
What’s your Spirit Animal?
Horse peacock. I was tied. That’s like a show pony.
What’s the first line in the book about your life?
When we first watched Scout jump in the pool at 9 months, we thought she was drowning.
Tell us about Pinchie.
Pinchie is a creature that landed on a friend of mine while he was biking and bit him on his neck. But I wanted to keep it as a pet because I’m cruel I guess. It was quite a topic of discussion in our house to free Pinchie or not free Pinchie. She died a few weeks later and then, I immortalized her giantess shell with gold and placed her in a giant glass cabachon. She hangs out with me in my studio. I guess you should probably hate me now that I kept this giant bug and then made it a desk top paper weight. The world has some crazy critters in it.
If you were an article of clothing, what would you be and what color/pattern?
I would be a short jumper covered in paint.
In your opinion, what’s hot for 2014?
2014 is sizzling with the woman who lives in her truth. That hotness boasts about her fine curves, she eats humble pie, she spits out humble pie too, she wears lots of eye liner, or she doesn’t, she laughs too loud, she’s messy, she’s shy, she is neat, she is unapologetic about being a woman, but sometimes apologizes for accidentally hurting your feelings because it’s a beautiful thing to care and care for. And let’s not underestimate some good clunky leather shoes to match.
Who’s the most important person you’ve ever met?
Oh wow, I’m not sure. Probably my first art teacher mixed with my parents.
What’s your death-row meal?
Let’s see here, first there’s going to need to be some summer strawberries and a cold beer, then bring in the steak and potatoes with whatever that tomato basil sauce from Sierra Grille is and some red wine, but I don’t know which one, and I’ll finish this life up with a sugar cookie loaded with frosting and probably shaped as a unicorn. Actually two of those cookies.
If you were given a grant to fund the project of a lifetime, what would you create?
Ok, this is admittedly just self-centered, but I would get a big brick building and convert the rooms into a giant ‘making factory’. A ‘making factory’ has air conditioning and a hearty furnace. It holds different rooms for different means of making. There would be one for carpentry, for ceramics, painting, photography, textile arts, blacksmithing, animation, and silk screening to start. It would employ lots of professional makers and students to do their things, but also help me make big production projects. I guess that sounds like Andy Warhol’s factory, but mine would be less sociopathic and with a roof top garden. I know, I really wanted to want to say something that would also save the world....
What are 5 things you could but wouldn’t want to live without?
Well, I don’t mean to get somber, but my hands and eyes, a car that can carry lots of stuff around, the beach, and a contraption to play music and podcasts.
If you had to listen to only one song on repeat, what would it be?
One!? Just one. Can I make a mash up then: Annie Lennox's “Little Bird”; Glass Animals' "Gooey"; Hozier's "Take me to Church"; and Beyonce's "Drunk in Love." (...Sometimes the mash up wants Pat Benatar's "Invincible.")
What’s your fashion philosophy?
Do it! Do your thing! For me, I think I’m having a “you can take the girl out of Texas but not the Texas out of the girl” life where I think hair should go big, jeans are tight, and you should be able to run, dance, jump a fence, and go out to a semi-nice dinner in it. Otherwise, I’m probably uncomfortable.
What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?
I am just having the toughest time picking one of anything here. Emma falling in love with her baby, Maurice, when she came out of surgery this year. I never saw love like that before. Also scuba diving in the ocean. It’s magic in there.
July 15, 2014
One of our favorite cuts from Paige Denim is the distressed Jimmy Jimmy Skinny. We love it with Bella Dahl's sun faded tank, topped with a cute fedora, and completed with a fun summer sandal!
July 11, 2014
Joanna Chattman is EVERYTHING. Fashion, art, beauty, and heart. Ode's best friend and ever-Muse. She seeks out, inhabits, and creates worlds in which we all want to exist--dreamy places suffused with light. There's a wilderness to Jo. She'll wrangle frogs, set fire to foliage, stand knee-deep in a snowdrift or bog, all for a chance to capture the perfect moment. Her body of work is the quintessential ode: it is a celebration full of reverence and wonderment for the living world. We're so excited to be carrying exclusive prints and posters from her on-going Wilderness Series. Meet Jo (and follow her adventures at http://instagram.com/jochat).
What is your definition of beauty?
Beauty can be so many things...a certain quality of light, how a person carries themselves and treats others, a good story. In the literal sense I would say I find children, nature and animals the most captivating and fascinating. I love scars, moles, freckles, a wild mop of hair, wrinkles, and wild eyebrows.
What album are you playing on repeat this summer?
Tennis or anything by Otis Redding - I like a lot of Motown artists. The other day I heard Little Bitty Pretty One on the car radio, and it's about the happiest song I know...it's impossible to to not be in a good mood while listening to it.
What face would you love to photograph?
As far as famous people go…I love Bridgette Bardot’s face, and also probably Grace Kelly. For a guy, Robert Mitchum or Elvis.
You’re ever-adventuring around Western Mass. What are your top 5 places to go?
1. All along Route 2 heading into the mountains and just a little past North Adams there’s lots of lush hillsides and pretty little foot paths that you can easily find.
2. If you go down along Plain Rd. in Greenfield and keep going until it turns into a dirt road along the river, there’s so many good river lagoons and swim spots there and the light is always beautiful.
3. I love Warner Farm for the best strawberry picking and Quonquont Farm for apple and blueberry picking. The strawberries are so beautiful I feel bad eating them and Quonquont Farm is always inspiring to wander around in the orchards with my camera.
4. The Quabbin Resevoir has many beautiful spots, impossible to pick just one.
5. Goulds Sugar Shack is a rustic cabin that reminds of my log cabin in Idaho so I always love going there...and it has the best pancakes. I try to take everyone that visits me there if they’re open.
6. The Natural Bridge in North Adams is a place our family wandered into last summer and it’s very cool to wander though. Lots of textured stone, wooden walkways, caverns, and waterfalls...reminded me of the tv show Lost a bit.
7. The Bookmill is also a favorite.
Gould's Sugar Shack
What’s the perfect time of day?
I love the early morning when it’s all misty and foggy and the evening when the light turns a little blue. Or right after a huge summer storm when the light is silvery and soft.
Who/what are your muses?
All of the Ode ladies of course! My first muse was my little sister Julie. I think she was 12 and I was 16 when we started our photo shoot projects. She has always enthusiastically let me rope her into any crazy photo shoot idea that I’ve had...like going in freezing water for an Opehlia shoot, venturing into a field of skunk cabbage, or posing in her backyard with a hundred of her horses from her Breyer collection. She’s always been up for being dressed up and going someplace on an adventure with me and she has the best hair of anyone I know...like one of the girls in a John Waterhouse painting. So I think I’m always looking for that sort of spirit and feeling of comradery in my muses. More than a few of my favorite muses are animals.
What’s your spirit animal and why?
I keep getting the butterfly as my spirit animal whenever I take a quiz. Agh!!!! Why can’t I be the tiger?
Photo of a collection of butterfly wings via Joanna's Instagram feed.
What’s the driving force behind your art?
I think photography was a form of escapism for me when I was young and still is to some point. More recently though I feel I get to connect with so many different parts of the world in a somewhat random fashion and I really love that. I love all the worlds I get invited to come into. One day I’ll be photographing for an interior designer in some Connecticut mansion and the next day I’ll be covered in mud and burrs out in a field scouting a location for an Ode shoot. Also photography can help people see themselves differently, and that’s a powerful thing.
Can you show us a photo of something that inspires you and why?
These are two of Sally Mann's images. She is pretty much my idol. This just reminds me so much of my best childhood memories which often had to do with jumping in rivers from a tree.
The second image is just so other wordly and dreamy. It has such richness and depth, almost like a 3D image. I would just like to wander inside her pictures as a little figure.
This just reminds me so much of my best childhood memories which often had to do with jumping in rivers from a tree. The second image is just so other wordly and dreamy. It has such richness and depth, almost like a 3D image. I would just like to wander inside her pictures as a little figure.
You ALWAYS smell good. What would your eponymous perfume smell like?
Smell is so powerful to me. Did you know that photographers tend to smell everything? I pick up everything and the first thing I do is smell it. I tend to go by season as far as scent. In the summer I like the Kai scent or on hot, dry, sunny days I like Tom Dao by Diptyque, in the fall I like Burberry Brit, in the winter I usually wear Hermes merveilles, and in spring I like Jo Malone Fressia and Pear. I also really love the Portland General Store Whiskey aftershave scent. I steal it from my husband and put a dab on my wrists. It smells woodsy and amazing!
You can have dinner with 5 people—from any time/place—who would they be?
John Bellairs one of my favorite writers from when I was young, Edward Gorey because we could both wear amazing big fur coats at either end of a long dining table, my grandmother, Marie Antoinette, and Hildegard of Bingen.
What’s your death-row meal?
An amazing wedge salad and a steak.
What’s the best part of the body to photograph?
Impossible to pick. Depends entirely on who it is!!!
Joanna's sister, Julie.
How would one take the perfect selfie?
Ahhh. Some of the best portrait light can often be found right under an overhang or door way so there’s soft shade light and the light can kind of fall off on the sides of your face. An open garage that’s dark inside or doorway can work well. Or if you face away from the sun and are backlit, you’ll have a heavenly glow with soft light. A slightly above angle is flattering on most people. Knowing your angles helps as well! You’ll probably still have to take a million before you get one good one, so don’t be discouraged it takes more than a few tries.
If you were a piece of clothing, what would it be?
A Payal Luthra cashmere scarf. It’s so comfy and soft! I have one and I wear it everyday when it’s cold and it looks amazing with everything. I never tire of it.
Prop shopping for future shoots. Examples: I might never need this bag of 500 pheasant feathers, but I think I should get it just in case. Do I really need a golden bow and arrow? In the cart! Even though I have a million chairs in my house I really need this peacock chair from the 70’s….It’s more under control than it used to be. I also have a weakness for beautiful cofffee table books.
Whose wedding would you pay to photograph?
Daenerys and Khal Drogo is the ONLY wedding I would consider.
Describe your perfect day:
Sleeping late with the dogs and my husband, having my son jump on us, going out to the Brass Buckle for a late breakfast, puttering around the garden with the dogs, going swimming in a lake or river nearby, taking pictures with a girlfriend, going out for a cocktail, taking a bath and then getting into bed with the windows open on a 68 degree, breezy night.
July 9, 2014
Chelsea Dupuis is an expansive artist: not limiting herself to one medium, she is master of many modes of beauty-making. And there is a common thread in her vast repertoire: a kind of mindfulness. Whether weaving a tapestry, creating a sculpture from recycled materials, knitting a scarf, or preparing a nourishing culinary masterpiece, she puts thought and heart into it. We especially love her intricate fabric dying techniques, so we asked her to create an exclusive collection of one-of-a-kind scarves for us. You can meet Chelsea and shop her scarves at Ode's July Art Bazaar on July 11th, 6-8pm. Here's a little from the designer:
Five most listened to songs?
Life During Wartime by Talking Heads, Gronlandic Edit by of Montreal, The Devil Never Sleeps by Iron & Wine, Mind Mischief by Tame Impala, Oh, Maker by Janelle Moné.
One thing every woman should have in their closet?
Black leggings. They are comfortable, sleek, you can dress them up or down -- definitely the most versatile piece of clothing. Leggings and scarves. The two things I could never live without!
Best advice I've ever gotten?
Trust yourself. It's when you let self-doubt slip in that the path becomes unclear. This journey is about doing and going, not about knowing where you'll end up.
Last time I laughed so hard I cried?
Recently, after a few friends and I saw a movie. I can't remember the name of the film, but it hadn't quite met up to our expectations -- which we all found devastatingly hilarious.
Do what I love and love what I do. Which involves lots of art, love, and dedication~
I took this image while traveling in Edinburgh, Scotland, on a visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens. I was really drawn in by the plant's repetition and geometry of each individual head, yet overall it grew out of the pot sporadically and unevenly. It reminds me of how events unfold as time passes -- things seem to happen at random, yet it all happens in rhythm, each occurrence leading to the next -- similar to the opening of flower petals. As each petal opens, it creates room for the next.
July 8, 2014
After the third Ode customer mentioned Jen Kahn's name, we decided it was time we sought her out. Her jewelry has the kind of nuanced simplicity that we so love in our accessories. Hand-wrought, bold shapes in vintage patinas. Her attention to the minute details make each piece unique and one-of-a-kind. You can meet Jen and shop her collection at Ode's July Art Bazaar on July 11th, 6-8pm. Here's a little from the designer:
How did you get started?
I worked at Frog Hollow Gallery in Burlington, Vermont, during my senior year at UVM. There I met renowned jewelry artist Celie Fago. I was so inspired by her amazing work and the medium she worked with – Precious Metal Clay. I quickly became her apprentice and upon graduation, moved in as a live-in apprentice and teaching assistant. For 9 years I accompanied her in her travels around the country and abroad. During that time I also honed in on finding my voice as a jewelry artist.
For the past decade I’ve mostly been selling my work myself (through Etsy and a local, outside Artist Market). This year I started my wholesale line and I’m seeking out new shops. I’m so excited to have Ode as my 10th new stockist and my 1st in MA!
What do you love about your job?
I LOVE coming up with new designs. It’s always such a thrill to go from an idea to a sketch to hashing out the actual design to the finished, wearable piece. I also enjoy spotting my jewelry on lovely ladies all around town.
Where do you find inspiration?
I'm drawn to and inspired by primitive and ancient artifacts and adornment because of the meaning infused into them. These pieces tell stories, they are connected to rituals, history, the land; they carry powers of protection. They are culturally rich and full of identity. Nowadays, it’s hard to feel connected, to feel meaning. Everything is so anonymous and mass-produced. I like the idea of reaching back into time, reaching out into distant lands and pulling those primitive styles forward; adding my voice and giving them a contemporary edge.
I'm fascinated by the way things are put together: patched, riveted, stitched and often incorporate such connections in my pieces. I gather inspiration from a pattern on a textile; the texture of a leaf; beautiful, old rusty things. I aim to fuse old and new, industrial and natural, urban and ethnic.
You have been selling at the Artist Market in Burlington, VT for a while now. Can you tell us a little bit about the scene there?
This is my 10th year at the Burlington City Arts Artist Market. This juried market takes place on Saturdays from the end of May through the end of October. It goes from 9-2:30, but if it’s raining it’s cancelled. There’s a bit of everything: jewelry, clothing, pottery, henna, paintings...it’s just wonderful. The immediate feedback I’ve gotten through the years is invaluable and it’s shaped my line. All of the vendors are friendly and fun and some of my best friends I’ve made through setting up beside them. It’s a great way to combine work life with social life. We love figuring out what we’re going to eat next from the farmer’s market next to us and people watching and dog watching. It really is the hub of downtown on Saturdays.
What's your favorite line from a movie, song, or book?
“Out of all those kinds of people, you’ve got a face with a view”.
I’m pretty obsessed with “This Must Be The Place” – Talking Heads. Got to see David Byrne sing it last year, I also love The Lumineers cover of it. My husband and I like to play it on mandolin. Such lovely lyrics.
If you were a piece of clothing, what would you be and what color/pattern?
This is hard one…I guess I would be a scarf/shawl/sarong (something that could double as a skirt or top or dress) soft and comfortable and long with a tribal indigo pattern.
What is your dream destination?
I dream of going to Italy…of eating in Italy…of wearing a floral dress, riding a bicycle through Tuscan hills, stopping for a picnic of fresh bread and cheese and olives and wine, by a vineyard. Something like that…
What is your favorite word, and why?
I guess my favorite word is wabi-sabi which doesn’t directly translate from Japanese to English. It essentially means the effects of time (and weather) on an object and finding the beauty in that imperfection. It has to do with being in tune with the natural rhythms of growth and decay, being able to do with less, and appreciating authenticity. If one word was used to define it, it would be rustic. It’s an esthetic that I aspired to before I knew the word/concept.
What's your go-to "happy" song?
Lately nothing gets me out of my chair like Pharell’s “Happy” or Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky." I will stop everything and start boogieing if I hear them. I can’t help it!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Well, regarding jewelry making, Celie gave me this great piece advice: All aspects of a given piece should be thought out, nothing should be unfinished, it’s all an opportunity for creativity. The back should be as compelling as the front…for this reason many of my pendants are reversible.