Melissa runs Blue Ribbon Salvage out of Petaluma, California. We're excited to have her at Handmade Ho-Down this year, and hope you enjoy her booth!
As this is a charity event for DrawBridge, give us some insight on how you personally, or your shop, gives back to your community.
I'm a planning commissioner for the City of Petaluma and I have worked for several years as a volunteer in many capacities for my local government. I avoided politics all my life but once I had my sons I knew I needed to make sure that I knew the issues effecting our community and used my voice as required.
It's funny but many of my craftiest moments have been in areas I would hardly have considered creative. I think creative people should share their voices in all aspects of their lives.
What does buying and selling local handmade mean to you, and how has it affected your life?
I ran a sustainable development campaign focused on localized economy and services. It's a high priority to me to support my neighbors and local business owners. I like knowing the maker of what I own, I like trading directly with and end user, and I love knowing the back story behind the things that surround me.
What inspires your creations?
The past. I like recontextualizing objects, people, and images. Tying them into the present. So much of our day to day life is devoid of historical context or perspective. My objective is to create pieces that have a sense of place or time. I like to think that half of my creative process is being in the role of a hunter tracking down creative inspiration. From there, I fashion the best format to showcase and tell the story of my treasures.