Saturday, November 13, 2010

Craft Riot Vendor: Pommes Frites

Kristen Pumphrey
Pommes Frites

Give a brief product description.
I make housewares and accessories using old, reclaimed & eco-friendly products. I turn forgotten books into one-of-a-kind book safes, old sheet music and atlases into magnets, and make sweet, owl-shaped candles with soy wax. I love to create items with a sense of humor - items that are equal parts a little bit geeky, clever and beautiful.

How did you get started?
I've always been crafty - I never had a knack for drawing, so I tended towards the make-it-yourself side of life. I have been knitting and making candles and sewing since I was a tween. When I graduated college, I started working at a craft magazine called Adorn in NYC. After crafting and writing about other crafters and artists all day long, I would come home and make candles or sew something or carve books (I found an entire set of encyclopedias on the street once!) and then blog about it. I got inspired by the artists I was writing about and thought "that could be me!" Although I had been working slowly on Pommes Frites, it wasn't fully launched and realized until I moved to Texas.

Where do you get your inspiration?
I'm inspired by libraries, antique stores, small Texas towns, vintage movies, old-school country music, schools, and office supply stores. I am very inspired by craft and interior design blogs, and the plethora of crafty goodness on sites like flickr.

Describe your workspace/workroom.
My workroom is a small second bedroom. I have two large Billy bookcases along one wall (from ikea) on which I keep all my carved books, glued books and "books waiting to be carved". I keep all of my smaller products (magnets and pin packs) in clear labeled tupperware boxes. I like everything to be labeled and live by the mode "a place for everything, and everything in it's place". There are repurposed glass jars all over my work room containing sponge brushes, sharpies, razor blades, and manilla tags. I put shelving up all over the walls, too. I have a vintage desk that is supported on one side with stacks of books - we lost the legs in a move somewhere along the way. There are stacks of encyclopedias lining the walls. My space tends to be a bit industrial and dusty because of the mess created when carving up books.

What has been your favorite winter holiday gift to make or receive?
Two years ago, I made terrariums for my mom and sister. It was really cool to personalize them (low maintenance cacti for my sister, a more lush environment for my mom, who has the greenest thumb in the family). They were potted inside huge cookie jars. It was awesome to give something that was living - and looked so cool!

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