Shop Talk: Pilgrim Waters

I first met Susy Pilgrim Waters at a local design salon where I was invited to share my Pinterest and social media experiences as they relate to both my business and blogging. We made an instant connection and I was fortunate to visit her at her home studio earlier this year.

Pilgrim Waters

In a nutshell, Susy is an incredibly talented illustrator and surface designer with an enviable client list and extensive portfolio of work. It's impressive how well her work translates across so many applications—from hand-written logos to textile designs to book illustration. She is typically commissioned for her work (by clients like Crate&Barrel, Iggy's, surface designs for Pizza Hut, NYC Public Library—on 5th and 42nd in the Children's room—and more), but she also has a beautiful line of her own blankets, scarves, and housewares that you can purchase in the PW shop.

Visiting Susy at her home studio in South Boston ("Southie"), I enjoyed getting to know her, her work, and her husband Keith—who partners in the business and is also an accomplished computer artist specializing in computer facial animations for the likes of Pixar. We sat down to chat over homemade scones—"close enough" to tea time!

Their sweet cockerpoo Tillie joined in, too.

We looked through some of her past commissioned work.

Then we took a walk around their elegant, modern home and workspaces. Here, a busy corner of her work studio:

In her studio, Susy was showing me some of her influences and inspirations that include Robert Stewart Design, Ben Nicholson, and Barbara Hepworth. I'll definitely be looking into them in more detail.

Above: Susy holds up my absolute favorite piece in her PW line: the Boulders Throw — a design inspired by sculptor Barbara Hepworth's work. They are handwoven and hand silkscreened in Khatmandu. What I love about Susy's designs is they have a modern, graphic edge, but are softened by her nature inspired approach.

We flipped through a "trunk show" of her pashmina designs. It's almost impossible to choose a favorite, so let's get a few! I'm thinking these will make fantastic gifts for just about any occasion—Mother's Day, a hostess gift for that summer house stay, birthdays, for your bridal party, and more. You can find new designs (shown in progress below) here in her shop.

For the kitchen, I like a combination of these "Veggie Medley" printed tea towels and these handmade silkscreened bread proofing trays:

I like the the red dot on clear wood version on the upper left. What's your favorite?

Finally, I cannot leave out the fact that Susy is also a talented painter. You can see some design aesthetic crossover with her products, but ultimately her paintings have a presence and impact all their own.

Well, I hope you enjoy her work as much as I do, and that I helped you discover another favorite housewares source!

If you are in the Boston area, her products are also sold at the Peabody Essex Museum, the ICA, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Tess, and Nomad.

To see more of Susy's commercial work,
check out her portfolio.