One of the great aspects of Twitter is that you can make the most amazing connections with others. One of our Twitter friends, Amy (remember the cocktail recipe she shared with us?), recently introduced me to an artist she admires when she tweeted about one of her blog posts -- and boy am I glad she did.
Susan Schneider has been a collector of all things vintage for over 20 years and has been making unique lampshades for the past 15 years. Actually, Susan says that she stumbled into making lampshades. She had an antique and decorative-arts store that focused on vintage textiles, but found herself on a constant search for decent lampshades to go with the fabulous vintage lighting finds she had been collecting. So, when she couldn't find what she needed, she decided to just make them herself. Susan's lampshades are now her signature product.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Susan about what inspires her, her love for vintage, plus more.
Why do you choose to use vintage materials in your designs?
I love vintage anything, for as long as I can remember I had been drawn to the design of old. The vintage imagery and items I use tell a story. A different time period that I feel needs to be brought into the future.
Is there something ornately appealing about them, is it the act of up-cycling, or is it something else entirely?
I have been up-cycling for a very long time, long before the term was invented. The ornamentation is probably what appeals to me the most. The attention to detail, is what I am drawn to. I have always used vintage goods in my work, taking something from the past and recycling it into some thing new. Who made what I reuse is also intriguing, the process, the skill it took to create what I use is still to this day amazing. The artists from the 1800 - 1950's show in there work what was going on in the world. It is seeing history through another artist's eye from another time.
Where do you find your inspiration for such unique designs?
Everywhere, I have been a mad collector of vintage goods for many years. So much of my inspiration comes from my own collections. Vintage wallpaper is one of my collections, the detail in the printing process is so inspiring. Architectural elements, nature, old iron, salvage of all types. Vintage dictionaries, atlases, books, handmade paper, old scrap books, vintage magazines (1900-1950) fabulous time period of advertising art. They tell such a story. The story is very important, the people behind all of what I use, I feel that I am sharing there art.
Art indeed! Thank you Susan for letting us peek inside your world of vintage treasures!
To see more of Susan's work, or to get the location of her store click here. Susan has also recently opened up a shop online so be sure to browse all of her vintage inspired work like the vintage matchboxes pictured above.