Maine Makers Spotlight: Maineland Design Co.

Maine Makers Spotlight: Maineland Design Co.

A fox on stilts. A scampering rabbit. A bear dragging a trail of buoys behind it.

If you’ve looked through the housewares at the PMA Store, the glasses and cups by maineland design co. with these animals may have caught your eye. Their elegant home goods come adorned with Maine wildlife in sometimes-unusual depictions, rendered with a sketch-like quality that implies spontaneity, as if the creatures just sprung to life, with fur flying everywhere.

Maineland design co. is a company started by two families. Their business resides in South Portland, and the founders—Andy Rosen, Kimberly Myers, and Lucas Myers—have lived here for most of their lives. They are lifelong friends, parents, nature enthusiasts, and business partners. They say they are “committed to creating designs that will bring playful beauty and unique utility to the most employed parts of the home,” and judging from the response in the PMA Store, they’ve really found a market.

I spoke with Andy a little bit about the company’s unique approach to design.

PMA Store: How is your art practice different from the process of creating designs for these products?

Andy Rosen: My art practice almost entirely comprises sculptures that depict animals engaged in human struggles. Usually, they’re wrestling with both real and perceived threats of environmental calamity of some sort. Lately, I’ve been creating site-specific works that engage public spaces and people in conversations about these real and perceived threats. Ultimately, I see my sculptural practice as a kind of generator where perceptions about what’s happening to our world are turned into contemporary folklore.

Maineland allows me to explore this territory and expand upon my vision of the mythical world where my sculptures reside. So while the process of making things is different in terms of format, creative input from partners and perhaps even audience, I tend to see more of a continuity between my studio practice and designing goods for maineland.

PMA Store: Who or what are some of your inspirations? 

Andy Rosen: My sensibilities about things such as quality and utility are fed by growing up here. I’m fascinated by objects and goods that can be both utilitarian and also reflective of more abstract or fanciful compulsions—a sun-bleached mooring ball, hand painted signage, a black and white speckled enamel coffee mug, quilts with old wool blankets sewn inside, shaker furniture, sailing and fishing boats, picnic tables with a million coats of paint, an old basketball hoop affixed to a pine tree, and anything made from maple syrup. This list could go on for a good long time.

PMA Store: What has the response been like?

Andy Rosen: We’re really encouraged by the feedback we’ve been getting right out of the gate, many people have remarked how our products look like something from their past that they can’t quite put their finger on. We're excited to release the first offering of our next product line this spring.

 

 

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May 10, 2016
Director of PMA Store

Sally is a Baltimore native and a holds a degree in design from Rhode Island School of Design. In addition to design, she has an extensive background in retail, having previously owned Eli Phant, a beloved Portland boutique. She lives in Portland with her husband and young son.