At the Queen’s Ink, Patty Euler creates works of art from just about anything.
STORY BY Molly Fellin Spence PHOTOGRAPHY BY Mary C. Gardella
Surrounded by mounds of paper scraps, sorted by color and covered with myriad textures and patterns, Patti Euler bubbles with enthusiasm. She has just begun teaching one of her shop’s most popular classes, showing students that even small scraps of paper, regarded as trash by some, can be made into beautiful works of art.
The class is called Paper Mosaics, and each of the 30 students at The Queen’s Ink in Savage for the afternoon create a unique framed piece of art to take home. At times, students call out for help and guidance and Patti jumps in to reassure.
Euler seems right at home among tubes of glitter; tubs of gold, rose or silver leaf; and double-sided tape. Her shop and the classes she and other crafting experts teach are the product of lots of love and some risk-taking.
“This is my dream,” Euler says, arms outstretched to include all of the art supplies for sale at The Queen’s Ink, “this is what I love.”
Euler has always had art in her life. Even during her 27-plus year career as a marketer and manager
handling million-dollar accounts for AT&T, she kept her creativity close. She credits her mother with
teaching her and her six siblings to sew and to make new objects from old things.
“My mother always had us making something,” she remembers. “We made doll beds from Quaker Oats boxes.”
Her father owned his own business, and from him Euler inherited a risk-taking spirit and understands what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
After retiring about 15 years ago, Euler decided it was time to make art a full-time venture. She and a friend opened The Queen’s Ink, and after about three years in business, Euler says “I was ready to fly on my own.”
The shop proved a success and grew even more once it moved to Historic Savage Mill a decade ago.
Euler appreciates the space that affords display space for retail items as well as a large classroom with plenty of natural light pouring in from windows along one side.
Dozens of neatly labeled plastic boxes are stacked along the opposite wall. Empty cigar boxes, procured by a loyal customer from a cigar factory, stand ready for a class that will transform them into keepsakes.Euler, with her rainbow-colored hair and handmade jewelry, beams when speaking of her customers.
The queen of The Queen’s Ink, Euler has created a community here. She knows when someone has an illness in the family or has lost a loved one. She checks in with them by phone and helps them through difficulties by encouraging them to express their feelings in a new craft project.
The Queen’s Ink is not about making a profit, it’s about filling a space with beauty and inspiration, says Euler. “We never were traditional here,” she says. “Working here, being here, is all of our dreams realized.”*