Trillium Artisans: "Eccentric Art & Clothes from Recycled Bits, Pieces" Lents Shopping Tip by glabah

Lents Shopping: 3 reviews and 10 photos

  Trillium Artisans store, north side of Foster Road
by glabah
  • Trillium Artisans store, north side of Foster Road - Lents
      Trillium Artisans store, north side of Foster Road
    by glabah
  • Trillium Artisans store, #14 bus stop in front - Lents
      Trillium Artisans store, #14 bus stop in front
    by glabah
  • Some of the crafts available at Trillium Artisans - Lents
      Some of the crafts available at Trillium Artisans
    by glabah
  • jewelry, clothes, artwork at Trillium Artisans - Lents
      jewelry, clothes, artwork at Trillium Artisans
    by glabah
  • Trillium art, most of it functional, for the yard - Lents
      Trillium art, most of it functional, for the yard
    by glabah

When artists take over an old Lents storefront, what do you expect? The building remains its old self for now, but here one can find interesting and unique items from some of Portland's creative thinkers.

The store operates as an artists show room. The budget is small, there is little advertising beyond their web site, and operation is very different than the high-end galleries in Portland. The goal is to work with low-income Portland artisans and help them grow their reputations and income, with the ultimate goal of building sustainable enterprises by increasing each artisans' income by 25% each year. To that end, this non-profit store is supported by grant money from a number of different groups, as well as supporting the artists from the sale of their works.

As of this writing regular store hours are are Tuesday - Friday, 10 am - 6 pm, with occasional exceptions (for example, pre-Christmas shopping hours were extended).

The store is located on busy Foster Road, only 2 blocks from Interstate 205 and soon the MAX green line, so if you are passing through Portland on I-205 and want to stop somewhere that has interesting unique items this might be a worthwhile place to consider.

You will definitely find more unique items here than at the Clackamas Town Center (two freeway exits to the south) or mall 205 (four freeway exits to the north)!

Here are a few examples of what you see in my photos:

Photo 3: Clocks made from repurposed and redecorated records. To the far right you will see a wooden bowl made by a local craftsman that works with wood.

Photo 4: On the foreground right you see a hat made by one of our local artisans. In the center you will find jewelry displayed, and at the center right and left are various other household items, including colorful feng shui mirrors (far left) and wallets made from recycled neck ties (far right).

Photo 5: Most of these items are garden decorations, but a few are not. In the upper left you will see garden reflector balls made out of old marbles. To the right of them you will see pillows, and next to those are garden decorations created with old plates, cups and other kitchen ceramics. On the right side of the photo you will see a bird house on the floor, and bee houses on the window ledge. Towards the center of the photo, behind the garden decorations, you will see boxes that were once used to hold dental instruments which have been redecorated by a local artists for storage of most any household item that will fit inside.

What to buy: All items made by the local artists must be made out of a minimum of 50% recycled material. This includes everything from artistic refrigerator magnets made from small metal bottle tops to some garden decorations that are quite a bit larger. Jewelry, clothing, various gift itmes, decorations, and many odds and ends are here. All of these are made by Portland area artists and therefore at the very least you will find a unique Oregon item to take home.

As some examples of what is here:
Christmas gifts that I purchased here in December 2007 included a scarf made from recycled materials, earrings made from paper, a small storage box originally made for keeping dental instruments but redecorated by a local artist, and several of the metal bottle top refrigerator magnets. I considered (but did not purchase) one of the wooden bird houses, and a pillow with an image of the St. John's Bridge.

What you won't find: No standard tourist items such as Oregon post cards or T-shirts. No watercolor or oil paintings of local scenes.

See their web site for some examples of items found here.

What to pay: As each item is a unique artistic creation, it is hard to say what is a fair price. How does one set a price on a unique artistic creation? Some might pay thousands for something that someone else doesn't want at all. However, everything has a marked price, and just as elsewhere in almost all stores in the USA there is no negotiation over a marked price. Items range from $3 to well over $100. These prices are based on Trillium's goal of creating sustainable living wage employment for local artists that are low income, and thus prices are in that sense already set to a fair price.

See the web site for some examples of what is available and the price.

Address: 9119 SE Foster Road, Portland Oregon 97266
Directions: North side of Foster Road just west of traffic light at SE 92nd Avenue. Parking may be found on SE 92nd Avenue or other local streets. There is no parking for the building itself. Bus stop for route #14 is in front of store.
Phone: (503)775-7993
Theme: Local Craft

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 4, 2009
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