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Sword+Fern's Backyard Mythology

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This week marks the second anniversary of Emily Baker's Sword+Fern (811 E Burnside, #144), and she's going all out. "Backyard Mythology" will feature live music by Lovers, a photo show by Megan Holmes, a parking lot dance party with DJ Party Martyr, and even skateboarding demos and lessons from Sk8 Like a Girl PDX. I shot Baker a few questions about where Sword+Fern (the store, as well as her jewelry line of the same name) has been, and where it's going.

MERCURY: How has the store influenced your jewelry making?

EMILY BAKER: I think the opportunities that have come my way have a lot to do with Sword+Fern as a public space. Whether people come to my studio to find the jewelry or just stumble upon it, I want to make it a kind of weird, unexpected experience when they take the time to visit. 811 E Burnside feels like a special destination. It's an awesome thing to be a part of. 

I heard you're planning an LA location.

Three years ago I almost moved to LA but chose Portland instead, so I feel like it would be fun to have a shop in the city that I could visit and take care of when I'm cold in Portland. I love the idea of a little piece of the Pacific Northwest in sunny LA, and I definitely have it in the five-year plan.

What about immediate goals?

I am getting excited for [the holidays], I plan to offer some great new designers in the shop. Also I have been working on creating an apothecary, with teas, my lip balm, tinctures, and more from local harvests and herbalists—something I've wanted for a long time. If you or anybody you know makes amazing, sustainably harvested organic tinctures, flower essences, incense, or natural perfumes locally, give me a call! I have two installation shows planned for the end of the year, including a study of insects by (ex-Explode into Colors drummer) entomologist Lisa Schonberg. Backyard Mythology at Sword+Fern, 811 E Burnside #114, Friday August 27, 5-10 pm, free

In other store news, North Portland has some exciting arrivals, including a new shoe store opened by the owners of NE Alberta's PedX. It's called Manifesto Shoes, and should be open at 3806 N Mississippi by the time this paper hits the streets. Palace of Industry (5426 N Gay), open now, marries the joys of shopping (vintage clothing, books, art, and furnishings, plus a few new things mixed in) with a café atmosphere where you can sip coffee or beer and wine on the patio. Their grand opening takes place this Saturday, August 28, from 5-10 pm with DJ Sweet Jimmy T.

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