Mary Spenser Poletti: Hello everyone! My name is Mary Spenser Poletti, and I am a native of San Francisco, California.
Growing up, I was constantly drawing, painting and producing artwork - I couldn’t stop! As a child I spent my after school activities signing up for various art classes. These art classes allowed myself to become surrounded with friends who were also passionate in art. I established a harmonious relationship between socializing and connecting with others through producing artwork. Even my birthday parities included group crafts! I Looking back, I really couldn't tell you a moment where I wasn't using my imagination.
Lets see, why I chose SCAD... Well, Every easter I would visit my grandparents in Athens, and we would road trip to Savannah to eat at Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House. The name SCAD has been engraved in my memory for a very long time. It felt like a natural fit to expand my creativity in a city that was a home away from home.
ES: You make incredible accessories, what inspires you? Where do you look for inspiration?
MSP: When it comes to inspiration, I enjoy keeping my handbags minimal, sleek and elegant. Too many handbags that are out currently are overwhelmed with cheap plastic materials and excessive hardware. I feel smothered when I see a handbag coated with hardware and chains - personally, I feel like that is such a chaotic, loud statement. I want my handbags to be feminine but strong. I look for inspiration mainly in Japanese and other Asian cultures. My curiosity for such wonderful cultures has been growing for many years now. When I lived in Hong Kong for a couple months this past summer, I personally saw their constant fresh eyes when it comes to design. I admire the Asian cultures for their precise, futuristic, and clean artwork.
ES: What is your senior collection about? What are the materials?
MSP: My senior collection, "Balance", is inspired by modern Japanese architecture, utilizing sharp angles in its rigid construction. The accessories blend bamboo with the bold texture of stingray leather and rich color palettes. The concept of balancing angular construction and soft materials leaves these pieces with a sleek, feminine edge. I used multiple wood manipulation techniques such as steam boxing and wet molding, and utilized my father's wood shop's various bandsaws, table saws, and other woodworking tools. Bamboo is a lightweight yet extremely study material, with an appealing grain of joints and knots. The sharp angles and geometric shapes contrast with soft routed edges, producing a harmony between masculine form and feminine finish. I produced each product in two configurations: one in satin stained wood, and the other in a lacquered black finish.
ES: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
MSP: This is always a difficult question, as I never would want to limit myself as to where I go with my life. In 5 years I want to continue to travel the world, and have a long period of time where I have lived in Europe - specifically Paris. I have been there many times, and want to be able to live in an apartment over there, getting fresh baguettes and coffee. That is my dream. I would also love to visit Jade Mountain, and spend some time swimming around there.
ES: You were recently in the SCAD Fashion Show Correct?
MSP: Yes! I was fortunate enough to be shown with the talented Sarah Humphries! It really was spectacular to be one of the few SCAD Accessory Designers who were able to have their handbags on the runway.
ES: How can people contact you?
MSP: My personal website is: www.maryspenserpoletti.com. People can take a look at my newest collections and works in progress, as well as my resume and contact information.
ES: What are you currently involved with now?
MSP: Currently, I am a finalist in the Stitch Collective Handbag Design Competition! If I am the winner my handbag design will be produced in NYC and actually sold online! This is major for upcoming designers, because it allows myself to get my name out and have people purchase my designs. In order to be the winner, I need to collect the most votes! So please everyone, vote for my handbag Mary Poletti #11. It would be an honor to win and be able to start entering into a new chapter of my life, where my designs can actually become mass produced and sold!
The voting link can be found here: http://stitchcollective.com/pages/vote
Mary Poletti #11