Jasmin Patten is a brand new member of the Lithia Artisans Market. I saw Jasmine’s clothing for the first time last December at the Holiday Market at the Briscoe ArtWing. I was blown away by the quality of her craft and the uniqueness of her style. I was hopeful that she would join the market, and with a little nudging she did. We are stoked to welcome Jasmine into the midst of the artisans growing family. Come down and check out all the new artisans as Lithia Artisans Market presents “Art Along Ashland Creek”. Open every weekend’ til November.
How long have you been creating wearable art?
Jasmine...I’ve been creating it since my first spring break in college, when I realized how amazing it was to create something I could wear with my own hands, and took the time to do it.
Who has inspired you to evolve into the artisan you are today?
Jasmine… My mother has always been an inspiration and a solid supporter of me in whatever I choose to do in life. I adore the designer Madeline Vionnet from the 1920’s/30’s. She chose to dress women in soft, comfortable and exquisitely made dresses instead of the corsets and restrictive clothing that were in fashion then. I had a great teacher named Catherine Stephenson in design school who taught me couture techniques, so I gained an appreciation for quality and detail.
What makes Dervish Clothing an ecologically sustainable company?
Jasmine… For each of the sweater coats and vests I do, I use recycled sweaters and turn them into pieces of art. Up-cycling is what I do, and that means taking recycled materials and making them into something of higher quality. I love that each piece is one of a kind and that my raw materials are a palate of different colors and textures depending on what I find. It’s gratifying to make such beautiful pieces from things that someone didn’t want.
Why did you decide to pursue the path of the artist, rather than “getting a good paying job”?
Jasmine… I am a very independent person and love to have freedom in how my days unfold. When I get the creative bug, I may work for days full tilt. I choose my schedule. A long time ago I decided it was better to have a little mystery about when/where/or how much money was coming in and be creative, than to have certainty about a job but no creativity. I thrive best in a creative and dynamic environment.
Tell us about the boutique you owned in Portland before relocating to Ashland.
Jasmine… I co-owned a shop called “Dragonlily” in southeast Portland for about 6 years. It was a great experience of learning and growth. My business partner and I learned everything about how to run a boutique by trial and error and some common sense. I sold my clothes there, and we sold things from other local, independent and start up designers. We helped incubate some designers through that process and get their work out to a larger audience. It was challenging because of our location. We were more of a destination spot and that meant we had fewer walk-in customers than if we were right in the thick of a shopping neighborhood. It IS true what they say about location! Overall, though, it was a wonderful experience, and it was crucial in my development as a designer and a business owner.
Has your style changed over the years?
Jasmine… My style changes from time to time, in the colors that I wear or the cut of my pants. The one thing that stays the same is that I like clean lines, feminine details, and versatility. I like to be able to do yoga, climb a tree, or go out for dinner in the same pair of pants. I value things that are locally made, or made by friends – for me it feels great to have a connection to people that I know through what I wear and adorn myself with.
How have the strong women in your family shaped the artisan you are today?
Jasmine… Every generation of women on my Mom’s side sewed. I still have quilts from my great grandmother that are in excellent shape. My grandma made rick-rack skirts and sold them in Santa Fe way back in the day. My mom made clothes for me and for her, as well as doing some costuming on movie sets. I think the influence is subtle yet strong. No one every told me I needed to learn to sew, but it was around me all the time, so eventually I picked it up and it came naturally.
How did you choose to become a clothing designer?
Jasmine… I didn’t plan on being a designer. One day, after getting my B.A. in college, I was waiting tables and thought,” there must be something I like to do more than this”! So I gave it some thought, and hand-drew my business card for sewing and alterations. I started taking any jobs that came my way, and started to make a living and learn in the process. Eventually, through experimenting with my style and ideas, it brought me to designing clothes, not just making them. I keep doing it because of all the happy women who buy my clothes and feel beautiful in them, and because the inspiration keeps flowing.
What about your process of creation do you find most enjoyable?
Jasmine… I enjoy choosing the colors and textures to make the sweaters, and watching them unfold as I sew them. It’s a magical process to go from an idea to it’s manifestation and then getting to touch it and see it when it’s done.
Why is quality important?
Jasmine… Things that are well made last a long time. There is no reason to have things, including clothing, be disposable. I want my pieces to last for years, and even to become heirlooms with personal stories attached to them. You know, such as… “When I was wearing that coat, I met your father.”
Tell us something about yourself that has nothing to do with being an artisan.
Jasmine… I am a part of the College of the Melissae, which has just started over at the Wellsprings. It is a small school dedicated to the art of sacred beekeeping. We are learning how to keep bees together, and it is a fascinating subject. I have a bee hive that I got from a swarm last year, and am so excited to learn more about how best to steward the hive. Bees are crucial for our survival because they pollinate our food crops, and they have been in sad shape for a while. I want to do my part to bring back their health and vitality. And there is something just magical about sitting next to a hive, with all it’s buzzing and humming and delicious beeswax smell that I love.
Find more about Jasmine and Dervish Clothing at www.dervishgirl.com.