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Home Tour: Kathy Brock

October, 24, 2016

"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for." - Georgia O'Keeffe

Today we're stepping inside Kathy Brock of Little Green Pagoda's beautiful Portland home. Tucked within a lavish green neighborhood, we found Kathy's stunning sanctuary of  treasures and textiles from around the globe.

Kathy has been a loyal customer of Artifact for years and a frequent seller of her exquisite textiles. Her home represents a well curated collection of her travels, family collectables and locally sourced treasures.

Take a peek inside this worldly wonderland and enjoy all the exciting beauty this home has to share!

While in Portland, visit Little Green Pagoda at Grand Marketplace!

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Artifact: As an artist, what is your creative process?

Kathy: I collect all kinds of vintage labels, cartons, string, trims, paper ephemera, etc. Sometimes I’m looking for a way to point out the beauty of distressed, thrown-out decorative objects - taking a mirror that’s missing most of its silver and framing it with an old Asian tea carton, for example. Other projects just take off when I combine old ledger pages, wall paper, and envelopes - and then draw or paint over the surface.
Artifact: How often do you travel and where is next on your agenda?

Kathy: I travel overseas one or two times a year, mainly for textiles and furnishings for my business. I go to Turkey to find vintage kilims and old jewelry. I visit my sisters in the Midwest at least once a year, and while there, I seek out farm sales and flea markets in Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas. I’m looking forward this month, to visiting a friend who has moved back to Malaysia and Indonesia. He works for an organization that encourages families to revive traditional weaving techniques and develop sustainable businesses.
Artifact: What is an unusual travel experience you’ve had?

Kathy: Visiting an Istanbul friend’s family home in the countryside, north of Sivas, Turkey was such a lovely experience. The way their home connected the interior and exterior; the way the light and air flowed throughout; the porch where the homemade cheese and yogurt was stored; the graciousness and kindness!
Artifact: What is something people don’t realize about textiles?

Kathy: Lovely handmade, vintage or new textiles show up at flea markets and vintage shops quite a bit these days. Some of these pieces may represent an amazing amount of labor, and contain motifs very specific to a region, a town, even a family group. I believe Portlanders have been traveling and collecting textiles for decades…and now we see some great pieces come through our vintage and resale stores. It can be satisfying and such fun to “study up” on Laotian and Vietnamese hill tribe textiles, Javanese batiks, or Uzbek Suzanis, for example. Then your heart skips a beat when you recognize a great example waiting for you on a shelf!
Artifact: Your home tells a beautiful story of your travels and experiences. How long has your collection of treasures been growing?

Kathy: Oh, since high school! I’ve been buying, selling, repairing, and re-purposing old stuff all along the way.
Artifact: What local places in Portland are your go-to for inspiration?

Kathy:
I get very happy when I find “raw materials,” in the form of vintage papers, trims, textile scraps, etc. So I love to visit Scrap, ReClaim It, and Village Merchants! I love our local flea markets and seasonal vintage markets—the Vintage Showcase, Plucky Maidens, the summer flea at Grand Marketplace, the Portland Flea. For a tremendous mix of every texture and color—I drop into Cargo or Artifact. Mainly, I walk as much as possible—so that I can see the lush and radiant gardens of Portland and pet as many cats as possible.
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