Phoenix visual artist Carrie Marill recently launched a line of fashion accessories called punkwasp. It's named for a moniker Marill has used for some time for her social media accounts.
This is Marill’s first foray into creating a line of wearable art.
“Starting an accessories line has always been in the back of my mind,” Marill says. “I’m very influenced by fashion, and I’ve been wanting to create more wearable art.”
And now the time is right, she says.
In part, that’s because Marill has been doing a lot of traveling lately – to places including Mexico, California, Canada, and Japan.
“I hit a lot of beading places and hardware stores when I travel,” Marill says. Hence, she’s got plenty of material at the ready.
Marill makes many of her necklaces using small beads, but some include paint chips she’s used in her broader art practice. The first group of necklaces Marill took to Practical Art featured paint chips previously shown in a 2016 exhibition at Lisa Sette Gallery.
But something else inspired Marill to finally create her own line of accessories.
It was talking with Joshua Hahn, who co-owns Phoenix General with Kenny Barrett.
Back in fall 2015, they commissioned Marill to paint a mural with silhouettes of garden tools and other objects on two exterior walls of their Roosevelt Growhouse boutique, GROWop. That mural was painted over after developers bought the property in 2016, and Roosevelt Growhouse was forced to relocate.
More recently, they’ve been thinking about other ways to work with local artists.
“We’ve wanted to collaborate with Carrie forever,” Hahn says. “Her work is so bright and colorful and full of pattern play, and we love that she’s always been inspired by a love for fashion.”
Marill’s own fashion inspirations include Marni and Missoni, but she’s also heavily influenced by Navajo weavings and surf culture.
“There’s an easiness to surf culture that infiltrates my work,” Marill says. “There’s a fun, idiosyncratic pattern-based lightness to them.” There aren’t any clasps, so everything is simple to just throw on.
Every piece Marill makes is different.
And the necklaces are just the beginning, she says.
Soon colorful bandanas and art stickers will also be part of the mix.
Her first two bandana designs will feature artwork adapted from paintings chosen with Barrett and Hahn. Phoenix artist Tara Logsdon helped as well, by digitally adapting the designs to work as squares. The paintings that inspired Marill’s first bandanas are called De Colores and Gee’s Walker.
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Nowadays, Marill is keeping plenty busy. Typically, she spends about three hours making jewelry. But she's also got her ongoing art practice, and the daily responsibilities of family life.
For Marill, the punkwasp line is a way to inject a bit more fun into her creative life. "It's a great way to expand and diversify my art practice, but also keep my work fresh."
“I’m excited about making all these little affordable pieces of art,” Marill says.
Phoenix General and Framed Ewe are holding a launch party for Marill’s punkwasp line. That’s happening on First Friday, May 5, from 5 to 8 p.m. More information is available on the event Facebook page.