Tuesday, January 11, 2011

curating an artful collection with suzanna scott


i just love seeing what folks are collecting. i guess i kind of feel it tells us just a little bit about what inspires them, what they love, and what they choose to surround themselves with in their home. today, i'm delighted to present the next in the rikrak studio's collections series:  quick questions with a wonderful artist on what they're collecting, (apart from their art supplies! ) you can also check out my  *the collectors* series on Etsy, based on these posts! hope you'll just love instant collections with SushiPotParts.

what elements make a beautiful collection?

variations on a meaningful theme. a dash of fabulous finds. a sprinkle of the rare,  kitschy or sentimental. and perhaps most significant of all - the necessary magical aesthetic of curating: putting together the perfect collection as a whole. for me,  such bliss lies in the artful design and display of a handpicked collection.

today we welcome the fabulous Suzanna Scott to *The Collectors.* collage artist {& dedicated collector-hunter}, Suzanna shares insights into the birth of a collection and how she masterfully composes her popular *instant collections.*

Who (are you) :
I'm Suzanna Scott, a 36 year old artist living in the middle of Kansas, working from my home studio in the basement, mom to a 6 year old, and wife of a graduate student.

What (are you collecting) :
Some of the various things I collect are: aluminium coffeepots, clowns, crocheted doilies and potholders, little things, antique books, religious kitsch, scissors, old buttons, vintage children's books and ephemera. I'm sure I've forgotten something. It seems like everything eventually turns into a collection of some sort in our house. My husband Patrick collects Pez dispensers and mechanical pencils. My daughter collects anything itsy-bitsy, teeny-tiny. She likes little things just like her mama!

What (for you, are the elements of an interesting collection):
A good mix of shape, color and texture. I assemble my collections purely based on visual aesthetic. If it looks good, I like it!

When (did you start) :
Most of my collections started about the time I got married 11 years ago. My clown collection has been growing ever since my maternal Grandmother passed away when I was a teen. I kind of inherited her clown collection and her fascination with clowns.

How (many do you have?):
I've never inventoried my various collections. They tend to morph and mutate over time. Since I'm a mixed media artist, I'll pull from them to incorporate objects into my pieces. There is definitely a bit of natural selection going on here!

Where (do you find them) :

Everywhere, anywhere. You name it: thrift shops, yard sales, antique dives, online shops, estate sales and people who know me tend to send me stuff too.

Where (do you keep them) :

In every nook and cranny about the house and studio.

Why (do you love them) :
Because they inspire me.

Tell us (about your instant collections)

My instant collections came about as a two-fold solution to a big problem. My problem is namely that of being addicted to the hunt of collecting vintage items. I tend to bring home more items than I can use (for my work) in a lifetime. So, by offering instant collections to others from my vintage shop on Etsy I'm able to enjoy the hunt and feed/fund my habit while staying sane in a relatively tidy studio and co-exist in peace with my very patient husband.

How (do you create & curate your instant collections?)
When I'm putting a collection together I always look for items that "fit" together in some way (ie. color, size, shape, texture, theme), but at the same time making sure that the group as a whole contains elements of variety as well. When I photograph them I try my best to represent the items in a variety of arrangements so my customers can get inspiration/ideas for how they could incorporate them into their own personal space.

What (is your most popular kind of collection):
I'd have to say hands-down my tin tea cups and tin saucer collections have been extremely popular.

What (do you think draws folks to collect?)
The thrill of the hunt—at least that's the way it is for me!


wonderful! thanks so much, Suzanna.

i just adore Suzanna's wonderful works. be sure to visit her inspiring artistic collections in her SushiPot shop -  filled with tantalizing assemblage & collage;
and SushiPotParts: home to vintage objects & ephemera (and fabulous instant collections galore!)

now... let’s all go on a creative discovery treasure hunt in our own homes - just image the gorgeous collections that await in the top drawer of your desk and the shoebox under the bed!

suzanna scott
sushipotparts | sushipot | twitter | blog

What do you collect? What makes a great collection?
Please tell us in the notes below. We’d love to hear!

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  1. Cute! Love the white one. I collect greenware and I agree - it's the sentimental for me!! ;>

  2. Thank you Kristal for the lovely interview! Hello to all of you wonderful rik rak readers :) --Suzanna

  3. so thrilled to have wonderful you, suzanna. many thanks!

  4. Great, Interview! Very inspiring!I collect vintage fisher price Toys and all sorts of papers for my collages. The toy inspire me and with the paper it is like baking a cake. Mix them up and voila you have a cake.

  5. great post! I collect paper to create with. your post inspired me...I may start a teeny weeny collection of something soon. :)

  6. how fun walter!

    and yay to that, la alicia! can't wait to see what you find!


thanks so much for your comments, nicies!
it's a joy to read what everyone writes here.
thank you!