Jessica Pezalla has whipped up custom chandeliers for Oh Joy! Studio, filled the windows of Anthropologie with falling dots and turned Hermès storefronts into feathery waves of paper rainbows. So…she’s the creative type.
We couldn’t wait to meet Jessica and pick her brain about what inspires her to create the whimsical installations that keep top brands from coast-to-coast calling her for custom work. Truth be told, Jessica had us at ‘Anthropologie windows.’ To us, styling the mecca of urban window dressing – the windows that have most of us dreaming up scenarios involving broken tea set mosaics and streamer-festooned centerpieces – is a feat unto itself.
We loved spending the day in the Bramble Workshop studio as Jessica prepared the five hundred and forty-sixth paper bloom to be displayed in the windows of Ella Moss’ Newport Beach shop this month. We don’t know if we can properly convey what it feels like to be ankle deep in giant paper flowers, but we hope this glimpse inside the studio with Jess gives you the hit of crafting pleasure you need this afternoon as you sit cozied up at your screen…
My mornings are really important to me and I need that time to drink coffee, wake up slowly, brainstorm new ideas, and walk along the river with my dogs, Basho and Hazel.
To get the creative juices flowing I…
Spend time in nature. That’s the most important source of inspiration for me, so I might go for a hike in Griffith Park, visit the Huntington Gardens, or escape the city altogether and go camping.
Favorite object on my desk:
If only my job allowed me to sit down long enough to work at a desk! On my studio wall, my favorite objects are all the experiments and samples from past projects, from paper fern leaves for an Hermès window to textile experiments for my latest DIY blog post.
Fave morning of the week:
Sunday, when I can walk over to the Atwater farmer’s market and later head out of the city for a hike.
At 10:00 a.m. I am usually:
Working in my “office” on my balcony at home, surrounded by a ridiculous amount of houseplants and trying not to get too distracted by the hummingbirds at my feeder… I usually head downtown to the studio later in the day, after traffic has subsided.
My fave current project is:
The spring windows for Ella Moss! Bramble Workshop made 546 paper flowers that formed hanging clusters in the windows of their two stores. The best part of the project was the four craft nights that I organized via Instagram – many creative people came to my studio to drink wine and make paper flowers! So fun, and immensely helpful!
My favorites paper goods:
I love the posters and cards by Banquet Atelier & Workshop, especially their prints of animals.
Soundtrack in the studio:
Andrew Bird and Patrick Watson… my two favorite singer-songwriters.
The snack always on hand:
Ideally fruit, but often dark chocolate peanut butter cups.
To brighten up the space:
For me, I find so much inspiration in the natural world that a tiny assortment of acorns, leaves, and rocks is enough to brighten any space.
Ideal lunch hour:
Sitting outside eating banh mi sandwiches with my intern, Kamryn. Our studio is in Chinatown, but our favorite place is Vietamese – Via Café.
My necessary extravagance:
I always buy the best materials for my projects because I think this makes a huge difference in the end result.
My top distraction:
Instagram, of course! I spend way too much time composing shots of what we’re working on in the studio.
Books always in studio:
I love 1970s books about ceramics, basketry, and textile art.
Organization is not my strong point; I thrive in creative chaos. For me, good ideas come from having a lot of materials and objects around that I can experiment with. I love playfulness and unexpected combinations – my workflow is never linear and my studio reflects that. Especially when I’m in the process of making 546 paper flowers!
Fave material to work with:
I love working with natural materials, especially paper, fabric and wood.
Fave installation ever:
My favorite installation is the window display that I recently created for Hermès in NYC because it combined so many of my inspirations – the forest, libraries, botany books, mosaics, and the Greek goddess Artemis.
Other creatives that inspire:
My favorite artist is my mother and I’m continually inspired by her woodblock prints, embroidery, and stained-glass windows.