ode boutique

Artist Interview

Marisa Howard of Seaworthy

July 7, 2015

We love every-day/every-way kind of accessories. The kind that looks just right with a white tee and a pair of jeans and just as perfect against the backdrop of a black cocktail dress. Portland (Oregon, not Maine) based Marisa Howard, designer of Seaworthy, makes just that: jewelry you can wear wherever you're going. Simple, elegant designs with enough edge and curve to make an impression. According to Marisa, "Seaworthy" is defined as "fit or safe for travel". So, start planning your next adventure and shop her collection at Ode on Friday, July 10th, 6-8pm. She will be featured alongside designer Katie deGuzman of K/ller Collection. 

If you had a boat, what would you name it?
Me Time

You have a love for the “found object”. What’s been your greatest find?
I once found a complete photo album from the 20's and 30's – it told the story of this family so vividly through photos and captions. Everything from building a house to a first car – funny candids – new babies and everything in between. 

What was your jewelry in a past life?
It was a stylish and self sufficient woman, confident beyond her years. Someone who kept busy in her workshop and with a well stocked bookshelf. A lady who was a bit adventurous and wildly thoughtful. I picture her driving a rickety model T along country roads, stopping to jump into swimming holes in her knickers. 

Top 3 things to do in Portland:
1. Eat: the list of restaurants is endless
2. Adventure: hike waterfalls, jump into rivers, bike around the city
3. Neighborhood strolls – walk around your favorite neighborhood, check out the crazy yards, eat somewhere great, get a cocktail, check out a local shop

Where to you go to take a deep breath?
Lately I've been loving Sauvie Island, it's an island on the Columbia River near Portland. We have a
secret (ish) beach that we like to get to early and take the dog for a swim. 

Here is a mood board that I created last year. I have it hanging over my design space. The color combo - the mix of fashion, art and nature - is all very soothing and inspiring to me. It’s a feeling that I hope to convey in my designs:

What’s on your summer playlist? 
Hey Mr DJ, by Zhane (circa 1994)
Iko Iko, by the Dixie Cups
Losing You, by Solange
Got to Give it Up, by Marvin Gaye

What’s in your locket? 
My husband and Notorious BIG

Each one of your pieces have a beautiful name like Avalon, Iset, Inga. Where do they come from?
For each collection I study some piece of history or nature. One collection is named after deserts all over the world. Another is named after Art Deco buildings. A couple collections are named after Egyptians gods/godesses. I've also used the genus names of moths and butterflies. It just depends on where I'm at when the collection comes together. 

You quote T.S. Eliot in your About page. (We love him too!) Any other favorite poets/quotes?
Pablo Neruda is one of my favorites. I recently revisited the poem, "In You the Earth," from his book, The Captain's Verses. I love this line: 

“My arm scarcely manages to encircle the thin new-moon line of your waist
In love you loosened yourself like sea water:
I can scarcely measure the sky's most spacious eyes
and I lean down to your mouth to kiss the earth.”