Meet the Underdogs: Jen McCaw of ArtifexPDX



Jen McCaw


Who are you? (We really wanna know)
I received my BA in Costume Design and spent several years designing for a regional theater in the Pacific Northwest. I split my free time among several different hobbies, 2 dogs and 1 husband.

What do you do?
Strive to balance a challenging and interesting full-time job with my (also challenging and interesting)artistic endeavors.

What is your inspiration? (Why do you create?)
My life-long interest in the history of costume across all cultures definitely influences my work; each of my pieces conveys a small sense of the enigmatic attraction of “elsewhere”. I work mainly with natural stones and metal, and the majority of components in each piece of jewelry are second-hand or salvaged. This process allows me to create completely unique pieces, each with their own sense of history.

How do you do what you do when you do what you do?
I am constantly collecting old pieces of jewelry, hardware and bits of ephemera. When I want to create a new piece I spread out any bits I think might go together in interesting ways and see what inspires me.

Your magic moment?
Walking the dogs with my husband through the field near our house on a beautiful day.

Walk us through your day of awesomeness
I’m a huge foodie (as much as the budget allows, anyway), so I’d probably try to squeeze in as many restaurants/cafes as possible. Top choices would be Grain and Gristle, Bamboo, Toro Bravo, Yoko’s, Branch, Salt & Straw, The Pied Cow, and Bipartisan Cafe. Then a loooong walk through my neighborhood to work all that off.

In five years, where would you like to be?
Like all of us, I’d love to be supporting myself full time as an artist, but that would definitely need to include opportunities to learn new things and share what I know.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I work full-time and try to make sure I have at least a little free time to spend with my husband and awesome dogs.

What advice would you give to those of the like-mind?
Keep your life in balance – it’s easy to spend all our free time pursuing our dream, but it’s less fun that way.

Your Top 5 Haunts in Portland
Powell’s Grain & Gristle Portland Japanese Garden SCRAP Thrift stores

Your Top 5 Songs to get you through a life?
Cinder and Smoke by Iron & Wine Golden and Green by the Builders and the Butchers Dr Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog Soundtrack Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen Fern by Zoe Keating

Your Top 5 Movies
Not really a movie person, but I watch (and rewatch) a lot of TV while I’m crafting. Oldies-but-goodies: The X-Files Buffy the Vampire Slayer Firefly Twin Peaks

Check out the radness of ArtifexPDX at The Crafty Underdog Shop or visit her Etsy page by clicking HERE… 


Whether you are an artist, real estate professional, restaurateur, or band; LGA will cater to the size of your business with affordable options, superior design, and effective copy. LGA is founded upon the shoulders of small business owners, entrepreneurs, and magnificent risk takers. We heart your business with unique and progressive tools resigned to a simple and profound commitment; You!!
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