Put A Bird In It—Featured Maker, Emily Katz

Emily Katz is a Portland artist who embodies every bit of the word creative. From fashion design to music and poetry, these are just a few of her many interests and artistic endeavors. WeMake is very excited to have Emily on board for the Put a Bird In It project as she brings such a unique and organic point of view.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Emily Katz, and I have worked as a self made fashion designer with two of my own clothing lines, an artist, musician, poet, food writer, personal chef, graphic designer, art director, and creative consultant/solutionist. 

My parents did the hippy migration from Tucson, AZ, to Boulder, CO, and then to Portland when I was 7 years old, and I have lived in Portland mostly ever since.

I feel pretty connected to this place, and have been supported to believe that everything is possible. 

My work recently has been freehand embroidery on canvas and linen and tulle.

Have you created 3D work before?

Not really. In high school and college I made some ceramic sculptures, but most of my work is 2D. However, the embroidery that I do does have a 3D element in the raised lines that it makes with the thread.

What are your influences and inspiration? What excites you about design?

I am inspired by so many things. Nature, food, community, love, loss of love. I have been thinking a lot about energy and the transference of it. How it never goes away but changes into something else.

I also read a lot of fantasy books, and have been enjoying getting lost in prehistoric worlds. Mostly, my work lately is making drawings from memory. But sometimes I find that I am not satisfied by drawing emotional things. That the process doesn’t feel healing to me. When I get into this space, I focus my attention on drawing very detailed images, like my recent series of cacti and succulents. Some kind of Magic happens when I lose myself in the tiny lines and movements. I love it when that happens. 

What appeals to you in regards to this project?

I am really excited to be a part of this project to help raise money for schools. I am also honored to be in such a cool group of creatives. I can’t wait to see how everything turns out, as each person and group will take the same materials, and make so many variations on it.  

Please give us a little detail about your process and approach to the project so far. What have you enjoyed about it?

I was struggling with how to make the birdhouse out of fabric and still have it hold up as a useable piece, but I love the challenge, and thinking outside of my comfort zone. I also really love the unexpected element to putting it together. It’s whimsical. 

Here is a look at Emily’s birdhouse in the making:

You can see more of Emily’s work on her website, http://emilykatz.virb.com or follow her on Twitter, @emilykatzdesign.

Be sure to check out Emily’s birdhouse, as well as the creations from the rest of our artists that will be placed around Portland starting in September. Keep your eye on our blog and this Instagram feed to see behind-the-scenes shots from our makers.