Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Marisa and I live in Portland, Oregon. I’ve always called Oregon home. I grew up in a small logging town, moved to Eugene for college and finally settled in Portland. I live in a tiny, orange Victorian home built in 1900 which I share with my main squeezes — my boyfriend, Clyde, and my pooch, Sable.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I’m a sucker for a good cup of coffee and treasure hunting in junk stores or flea markets. I enjoy catching up with friends over big glasses of red wine and quiet evenings at home with my sweetie. When the weather behaves, I make attempts at vegetable gardening and I try not to neglect my collection of teeny, tiny succulents. I would never survive without yoga and trips to the Oregon coast.
What would be the title of your memoir? Why?
90% Drive, 10% Talent. I like the idea of trying things because I want to try, not because I know I’ll succeed. Happiness takes a certain amount of bravery and risk, and probably some failure.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Vintage hardware is where Seaworthy was born; I find a lot of inspiration in antique metals. I love vintage sterling silver and turquoise statement pieces and structural Art Deco designs. I also find a lot of inspiration in personal style — from my closest friends to French actresses from the ’50s. I often think about who would wear each piece and how they would wear it.
What does handmade mean to you?
Handmade, in my opinion, is about human connection. Handmade isn’t just tangible items — it extends to locally-owned shops and restaurants, small wineries, organic farmers and people who make made-from-scratch meals for their loved ones. It’s about people doing and making what they love and sharing it with the people who enjoy and appreciate it. It’s all about the human experience and how we connect to one another, as corny as that may sound.
Who has been most influential in your craft?
I’m lucky to be part of a supportive community made up of family, friends, business owners and fellow craftspeople. They have all inspired me to keep at it.
When did you know you were an artist/maker?
My boyfriend had a website built for Seaworthy as a birthday present two years ago. That gesture of confidence really changed my perspective on what I was doing. I think that was the first time I really felt like an artist.
How would you describe your creative process?
My creative process is all over the place. Sometimes I’ll put together an entire collection in my sketch book before ever going into the studio. Other times a collection is born out of a lot of trial and error. I try to change it up so that I don’t get burned out. Sometimes I just want to make one-of-a-kind pieces all day; other days I’m happy to just be in production mode.
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
My great-grandpa, Mark Mayhew. He was an oil painter and a creative soul. And my grandpa, Stan Burlingame; he tied flies and worked with wood.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
My great-grandmother’s wedding set; however, it’s not the rings that I cherish as much as the note that my great-grandfather typed and put inside the box. It reads, “Diane (that’s my mom): These are the wedding rings that Grand-ma did me the honor of wearing for over sixty-five years. It would be her wish that you preserve them as keepsakes and at the appropriate time pass them on to your daughter as heirlooms. GP November 6, 1913 to January 21, 1979.” It’s such a sweet little treasure to me.
How do you get out of your creative ruts?
I believe in the power of vacation. We all deserve to completely unplug on occasion. Even if it’s just for a hike through the woods.
Where would you like to be in ten years?
I hope to be in a place that is similar to now, but with more poolside cocktails and warm sunshine.