INTERVIEW : EMILY BIXLER OF BOET
Weaver, protectress and snake charmer Emily Bixler makes jewelry for humans, walls and beds under the stagename BOET in Portland, Oregon. We’ve been fascinated and a bit obsessed since we entered her installation at Content 2011 at Ace Hotel Portland — an alchemical brew of painstaking detail and nuance mixed with witchy power and butch materiality. BOET is featured in tomorrow’s pop-up shop Beggar’s Banquet tomorrow, Saturday, at Union/Pine, along with other local artisans and purveyors of vintage goods, supported by Ace.
Emily put down her needles and tiny flyers for a spell to answer a few questions for us.
The mixture of delicacy, brawn and darkness in your pieces reminds me of the work of Pina Bausch — it’s moving on this visceral level. What’s it like working with your materials, and how did you arrive at this strange, magical marriage?
I love this comparison. There are moments of her choreography that haunt me. Characters that, while moving in the most intense, bizarre rhythm both support and challenge each other. It is very much the same with the fiber and metal. Oftentimes they decide the outcome of a piece no matter how much I try to control them. I began using the chain as a sort of accent to the fiberwork but it soon took on this necessary structural element. I have worked for several years in both the knitwear and jewelry design industries and after digesting the possibilities and limitations of both mediums I realized I needed to find a way for them to co-exist.
Your jewelry feels almost like a miniature version of your wall pieces and hangings — “real” art. What’s different about working in different scales — is jewelry the business and are the larger pieces where your spirit’s at?
Yes. It’s funny. In school I used to dream up sculptures from drawing and “mock-ups.” The smaller scale helped me plan for the big work. With BOET it was the opposite. I think of the jewelry as small scale sculpture. As I was developing BOET the shield and chevron shapes that repeat through the work started to have more meaning for me as these protectors or badges. The large work came from similar questions of decoration. If a necklace works by creating a composition, a desirable shape on the body, what happens if that scale changes? What does a bed shield or a wall necklace look like? 
That said, I see the jewelry and larger pieces as equally important…different ideas come from different scales and I love that.
It’s the most cliche interview question ever, but I’ve never interviewed anyone who’s made me curious about this — what / who are your influences? Is there direct reference to something or does your work have a level of synesthesia to it —- just creating from shapes, colors, sounds in your mind?
This could go in so many directions. For years I have been inspired by Panamerenko and his bizarre airships. Ann Hamilton comes up quite often as well. Her ability to create such large scale installations while having this immense focus to every small element, every stitch in the fabric - it’s like food for me. Similarly, handwork of the Victorian age never fails to amaze…layers upon layers of an almost sickening attention to detail. These are the roots anyway…a jump off point. From there it is a collection of textures, and tests. There are no direct references — oftentimes a shape just happens before I know it and it starts me off on a whole new path.

INTERVIEW : EMILY BIXLER OF BOET

Weaver, protectress and snake charmer Emily Bixler makes jewelry for humans, walls and beds under the stagename BOET in Portland, Oregon. We’ve been fascinated and a bit obsessed since we entered her installation at Content 2011 at Ace Hotel Portland — an alchemical brew of painstaking detail and nuance mixed with witchy power and butch materiality. BOET is featured in tomorrow’s pop-up shop Beggar’s Banquet tomorrow, Saturday, at Union/Pine, along with other local artisans and purveyors of vintage goods, supported by Ace.

Emily put down her needles and tiny flyers for a spell to answer a few questions for us.

The mixture of delicacy, brawn and darkness in your pieces reminds me of the work of Pina Bausch — it’s moving on this visceral level. What’s it like working with your materials, and how did you arrive at this strange, magical marriage?

I love this comparison. There are moments of her choreography that haunt me. Characters that, while moving in the most intense, bizarre rhythm both support and challenge each other. It is very much the same with the fiber and metal. Oftentimes they decide the outcome of a piece no matter how much I try to control them. I began using the chain as a sort of accent to the fiberwork but it soon took on this necessary structural element. I have worked for several years in both the knitwear and jewelry design industries and after digesting the possibilities and limitations of both mediums I realized I needed to find a way for them to co-exist.

Your jewelry feels almost like a miniature version of your wall pieces and hangings — “real” art. What’s different about working in different scales — is jewelry the business and are the larger pieces where your spirit’s at?

Yes. It’s funny. In school I used to dream up sculptures from drawing and “mock-ups.” The smaller scale helped me plan for the big work. With BOET it was the opposite. I think of the jewelry as small scale sculpture. As I was developing BOET the shield and chevron shapes that repeat through the work started to have more meaning for me as these protectors or badges. The large work came from similar questions of decoration. If a necklace works by creating a composition, a desirable shape on the body, what happens if that scale changes? What does a bed shield or a wall necklace look like? 

That said, I see the jewelry and larger pieces as equally important…different ideas come from different scales and I love that.

It’s the most cliche interview question ever, but I’ve never interviewed anyone who’s made me curious about this — what / who are your influences? Is there direct reference to something or does your work have a level of synesthesia to it —- just creating from shapes, colors, sounds in your mind?

This could go in so many directions. For years I have been inspired by Panamerenko and his bizarre airships. Ann Hamilton comes up quite often as well. Her ability to create such large scale installations while having this immense focus to every small element, every stitch in the fabric - it’s like food for me. Similarly, handwork of the Victorian age never fails to amaze…layers upon layers of an almost sickening attention to detail. These are the roots anyway…a jump off point. From there it is a collection of textures, and tests. There are no direct references — oftentimes a shape just happens before I know it and it starts me off on a whole new path.


The magic of CONTENT, captured by Chris Hornbecker. Lots of the designers from CONTENT are part of our slightly oxymoronic anti-establishment shopping vacation, Stick it to the Man. We already shop tax-free and proud in Oregon, but you can get an additional ten percent off at local designers and boutiques and ten percent off your room when you stay with us in November or December.


Content 11 caught on Ace x Impossible film. If you missed the installations or weren’t able to make it to the pop-up shop before your favorite things sold out — lots of our Content artists are offering a friendly deal to Ace Portland guests through December.





Photos shot on Ace x Impossible instant analog film by Jeremy Pelley of OMFGCo.

Content 11 caught on Ace x Impossible film. If you missed the installations or weren’t able to make it to the pop-up shop before your favorite things sold out — lots of our Content artists are offering a friendly deal to Ace Portland guests through December.



Photos shot on Ace x Impossible instant analog film by Jeremy Pelley of OMFGCo.


CONTENT 2011 brought us knitted steel wool, miniature hotel rooms and handmade sequin geodes. Stay tuned for documentation.

CONTENT 2011 brought us knitted steel wool, miniature hotel rooms and handmade sequin geodes. Stay tuned for documentation.


INTERVIEW: BRITT HOWARD OF PORTLAND GARMENT FACTORY
Two years ago, we got together with our favorite Portland fashion designers to create a living installation in the guest rooms on the second floor at Ace Hotel Portland, dubbed CONTENT — each designer handcrafted, populated and brought to life an embodiment of their inspirations and identities, and this year an astoundingly talented crop of designers is resurrecting this new tradition. October 1, join Ace and NYC via PDX designer and Project Runway alumn Gretchen Jones on Stark Street for beer, spirits and fare by Olympic Provisions and Clyde Common, followed by an unguided adventure through the installations.
Portland Garment Factory is one of the designers creating an installation this year, and they’re also handcrafting tissue box covers for all the Aces out of salvaged WWII army ponchos, so we wanted to chat PGFer Britt Howard up up about the work they do and what they’ll be bringing to CONTENT.
What do you love about your job?
I love working with the various talented people of Portland — including the talented and hilarious PGF crew, whom I am lucky to be surrounded by on a daily basis! I love living through our clients’ design process……being so close to it makes us all  feel like we have a line of baby clothes or backpacks or womenswear.   And about the fashion community of Portland? The fashion community in Portland is so varied (i.e. folks from so many different backgrounds — self taught/DIY to classically trained), and a direct correlation to that are the unique perspectives we see in what the designers create. Since I grew up here, I have a fondness in my heart for wools, plaids, layers, hats, ect. The best designers in Portland play off of the weather here (be it a direct representation of a grey cloud to a bright color blocked dress to liven up the often dreary Portland backdrop). I love em all.
How are the tissue box covers coming along?
We will be cutting the tissue box covers LIVE in our Content room! We are excited to be working on this during the event because it’s a great way to merge what we are doing for Ace with the event — it was a brilliant idea that Rosemary (my partner) had which really helped us nail down what we are doing in our room! (The ideas were getting too grand anyway…) It will basically be a live workroom…..because work and creating are at the heart of what we are all inspired by every day.
Thank you, Britt — see you at work, then.

INTERVIEW: BRITT HOWARD OF PORTLAND GARMENT FACTORY

Two years ago, we got together with our favorite Portland fashion designers to create a living installation in the guest rooms on the second floor at Ace Hotel Portland, dubbed CONTENT — each designer handcrafted, populated and brought to life an embodiment of their inspirations and identities, and this year an astoundingly talented crop of designers is resurrecting this new tradition. October 1, join Ace and NYC via PDX designer and Project Runway alumn Gretchen Jones on Stark Street for beer, spirits and fare by Olympic Provisions and Clyde Common, followed by an unguided adventure through the installations.

Portland Garment Factory is one of the designers creating an installation this year, and they’re also handcrafting tissue box covers for all the Aces out of salvaged WWII army ponchos, so we wanted to chat PGFer Britt Howard up up about the work they do and what they’ll be bringing to CONTENT.

What do you love about your job?

I love working with the various talented people of Portland — including the talented and hilarious PGF crew, whom I am lucky to be surrounded by on a daily basis! I love living through our clients’ design process……being so close to it makes us all feel like we have a line of baby clothes or backpacks or womenswear. And about the fashion community of Portland? The fashion community in Portland is so varied (i.e. folks from so many different backgrounds — self taught/DIY to classically trained), and a direct correlation to that are the unique perspectives we see in what the designers create. Since I grew up here, I have a fondness in my heart for wools, plaids, layers, hats, ect. The best designers in Portland play off of the weather here (be it a direct representation of a grey cloud to a bright color blocked dress to liven up the often dreary Portland backdrop). I love em all.

How are the tissue box covers coming along?

We will be cutting the tissue box covers LIVE in our Content room! We are excited to be working on this during the event because it’s a great way to merge what we are doing for Ace with the event — it was a brilliant idea that Rosemary (my partner) had which really helped us nail down what we are doing in our room! (The ideas were getting too grand anyway…) It will basically be a live workroom…..because work and creating are at the heart of what we are all inspired by every day.

Thank you, Britt — see you at work, then.


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