Maker Stories

Wrapped Up in a Good Book: Tori Tissell’s Literary Scarves

October 20, 2014

Tori Tissell | UncommonGoods

It doesn’t take much exposition to connect literature and art. Artist Tori Tissell fuses both with fashionable flair in her literary scarves. Full of storybook charm, they harken back to Tori’s days as a budding artist. “Some of my earliest memories are from the age of three years old when I was painting in watercolors,” says Tori, “there’s a video recording of me being asked what I want to be when I grow up–my answer was an artist.”

This passion continued into adulthood, landing Tori as a drawing and painting major before deciding to move to New York City to study fashion design. “I thought that outlet would allow for a wider audience and quicker reception of my work and ideas.” Tori was right, and after being stumped for Christmas gift ideas during the 2011 holiday season, she decided to use her education and passion for screen printing, fashion, and literature to create something memorable for family and friends. “Since those closest to me also have an affinity towards reading, [book-inspired scarves] seemed like the perfect solution for gifts and possibly more.”

Literary Scarves | UncommonGoods

Tori sourced some fabric for the scarves and found a rich cream-colored knit. With this new material, she was inspired to print the scarves to resemble the page of a book. After the scarves were a hit, Tori began selecting other book texts to be screen-printed. “Initially books and passages were picked by what I favor and some of that will always hold true but lately we’ve been getting a lot of additional input,” says Tori. From Alice in Wonderland to Jane Eyre, each scarf showcases a window into a world of storybook magic.

Tori working on a Literary Scarf

Tori’s husband Chris became a part of the project when they got married in 2012. The scarves had really started taking off, and he began helping with screen printing, sourcing, and streamlining production. “By the end of that year, he was practically a full time employee on top of his other job as a computer programmer.”

Tori and Chris work out of a few spaces in Portland. “My workspace is a bit of a joke,” says Tori, “Chris is the one with a beautifully painted office, complete with overflowing bookshelves, leather furniture, and artifacts from past travels. My office is continually on the move. I either print pieces within our rented studio space in downtown Portland, or I cut and sew fabric on our dining room table.”

Tori and Chris

Wherever she happens to be working, Tori keeps pieces of inspiration handy. One such piece is the print cover art for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, signed by the artist. This is one of many hints at her love of reading, a passion that perfectly enhances her art. Another source of inspiration can be found within. “I think it’s really important for an artist to surround oneself with his or her own work because taking on new illustrations is terrifying. It’s comforting to see what’s already been overcome and to be reminded that you can do this.”

Literary Scarves | UncommonGoods

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17 Comments

  • Reply Sarina November 2, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    THESE LOOK GREAT

  • Reply Marilyn Caplin November 15, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    You are out of these scarves, when will they be available again?

  • Reply Megan November 18, 2014 at 12:19 am

    I received one of these scarves a couple of years ago! Jayne Eyre…my favorite! I love it and always get compliments when I wear it. So unique and clever.

  • Reply How to Tell Your Story Through Social Media August 31, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    […] Storiarts, not only do we make literary-themed apparel, but we’re true fans of books and the written word in general. So it’s natural and fun […]

  • Reply Linda T. Goentzel October 24, 2015 at 2:28 am

    I would like to purchase.

  • Reply Kelsey D. Glass June 23, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    I just really wanna see the first paragraph of Charles Dickens “A Tale of Two Cities” on one! I can’t find it anywhere 🙁

    • Reply Marisa June 30, 2016 at 1:44 pm

      Hi Kelsey –
      You’ve got good taste in literature! We are big Dickens fans, too. A Tale of Two Cities is not available now, but we’re going to keep in mind as the artist offers new titles. You’ve got excellent taste in blogs, too (blush)–thanks for reading ours.

  • Reply Reuben J Rivett October 22, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Any chance you can make a custom JK Rowling scarf for me?

    • Reply Cassie October 26, 2016 at 11:10 am

      Thanks for the question, Reuben. Unfortunately, there isn’t a customizable version of these scarves available at this time.

  • Reply J.P. November 25, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Do you have an infinity scarf with the U.S. Constitution on it? Can’t find one anywhere, much to my surprise.

    • Reply Emily G. November 28, 2016 at 11:45 am

      Unfortunately we don’t carry a U.S. Constitution scarf, though that’s a great idea! We do happen to have a Constitution tie available, though. Thanks for the question, and for reading the blog!

  • Reply Cassidy Gillaspie November 30, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Ever thought of making a bible one? What an inspiration! My mom would love it!!

    • Reply Emily G. November 30, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      We’re glad you like them, Cassidy! Maybe Tori will consider making a bible scarf one day, but for now we’ve got Jane Eyre, Alice in Wonderland, and Pride and Prejudice on offer (Wuthering Heights too, but it’s currently sold out). Thanks for reading the blog!

  • Reply Kathy Lawrence February 21, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Is there any chance I could pick a scarf up in Portland this week?

    • Reply Emily G. February 22, 2017 at 5:39 pm

      Hi Kathy,

      Unfortunately we don’t have the details on where Tori sells her scarves in Portland, but we do have a variety of them available to shop here.

      Hope this helps!

  • Reply Deb Andrick June 1, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    I would love to have a scarf from the Wizard of Oz. Is it possible?

    • Reply Hadley June 2, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      Hi Deb,
      Right now, we offer scarves from Tori with passages from Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights (currently sold out), and Alice in Wonderland, as well as Peter Pan and Black Beauty. You can view all of her items here. Unfortunately, we don’t offer a Wizard of Oz scarf (yet), but that’s a great suggestion!

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