Pillow talk

photo (34)

photograph by Jesma Reynolds

DECO Raleigh on Hargett Street is home to two local designers’ crafty, colorful (and reasonably priced) pillows. Laura Browning and Amy Friend’s handmade pillows add spring accents to any piece of furniture.
“I love the process of taking a few simple things, following a ‘recipe,’ and creating something tangible,” says Browning, who sells her pillow covers for about $20 under the name Posy. Each Posy pillow cover features two contrasting fabrics and a colorful trim. Browning says she “plays matchmaker” to decide which fabrics will come together on a particular pillow. Creating each one takes about an hour in total, but the busy stay-at-home mom makes them one step at a time during naps or after bedtime.
“The idea that I’m making something a person is excited to give as a gift or to decorate their kids’ room makes me all kinds of happy! It’s an honor, really,” says Browning.
Mixed media artist Friend uses her own drawings, which typically feature a tethered bird, as the main design feature of her pillows. She adds a floral fabric to the opposite side. “The content of my work can be heavy at times, and the contrasting whimsy of my fabric choices helps balance it out,” she says.
In 2012, Friend branched into fine craftmaking during a solar plate etching class at Pullen Arts Center. Since then, she has experimented with silkscreening, the method she uses to impose her drawings onto fabric. She then sews and stuffs the pillows at home.
“My pillows are a combination of art and function.  I love that people are able to bring a piece of mine into their everyday lives.” –  Emma Powell