Wednesday, May 26, 2010

artist spotlight: Brooke Schmidt

I am so happy to introduce you to Brooke Schmidt of Wyndmoor, PA, and her fabulous shop!

How long have you been creating things for your shop?
I opened my Etsy shop in January 2009 primarily as a way to shuffle off some of a large pile of drawings from art school. It was winter, and I was decluttering. But as I got to know Etsy better, I realized what a gem it was: instant contact with the artists themselves, and amazing handmade works at affordable prices! Over time I expanded to add more collages, sewings & works on paper, handmade clay and vintage book magnets, altered books, and embroidered Mokeskine journals. I try whatever takes my fancy. My latest additions are prints of my Polaroids, which I am so excited about. I love Etsy for it's simplicity in getting my work out there with a minimum of fuss. I have sold pieces to people in Alaska, in England, in Brooklyn ~ it's fascinating! I also like it when someone writes me requesting something special and specific that I can make for them. I feel like I'm granting a wish.

Photographing? How did you get started?
Growing up in Florida, our family went canoeing a lot on the Myakka River, and I remember my mom would keep her Canon 35mm camera in a watertight Pizza Hut cooler, in case the canoe tipped. In high school I was also wrangling photos out of an old point-and-shoot knockabout camera: I remember a favorite photo in which my friend was holding the moon on a hilltop. I love using film because I'm never sure how things will turn out. I used my mom's Canon and soon found one of my own, and then a vintage Pentax 35mm camera, which I took on road trips and backpacking trips to Europe. My first real digital was a Lumix Panasonic pocket camera, bought about 3 years ago, which I still have and use. Now I own a Nikon D90 and mostly use a 50mm lens with that ~ it's a fantastic camera. But my real passion, the camera that makes my heart beat, the camera that I wake up for every morning, is my SX-70 Polaroid Land camera. An eBay find that I purchased after finding Susannah Conway's blog last year and seeing her amazing Polaroids. It produces the most magical shots. I would also say Flickr was and is invaluable to me in seeing what's possible and being inspired.

What is your favorite thing in your shop?
The Snail's Dream, an 8x8 inch print of a Polaroid I took with my SX-70 camera. It's a dreamy and soft polaroid of a snail, luminous and with those wonderful eyes on stalks, contemplating a world of wood sorrel. It completely knocked my socks off as to the true possibilities of an SX-70. I was, at the time, on a road trip in California and that photo made my week. I have the original framed over my bed. Oh, that snail!

What are your other hobbies?
Reading, a lot ~ Gardening ~ Walking ~ Hiking ~ Tea-drinking ~ Road trips with my husband, Tim ~ Travel and living out of a suitcase or a backpack ~ Baking chocolate chip scones once a week ~ Collecting rocks when I travel ~ Thrift shopping! ~ Requesting books and audiobooks from my local library ~ Scrabble ~ Loving my dogs, Donovan and Lucy ~ Yoga ~ Reading in the back garden in an adirondack chair with my cat, Mimi, on my lap ~ Sitting by a fire and chatting ~ Collecting Agatha Christie paperbacks, Pyrex bowls, Fiestaware, textiles, wool blankets and things cobalt.

What do you listen to while creating?
I have a DVD/VCR player in my studio and often half-listen to old Agatha Christie flicks with her famous characters Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. For some reason, those get me in the zone. I also have a collection of my favorite films like Gosford Park or Manon des Sources which I'll put on and listen to like most people listen to a cd. I never listen to music while working, sometimes listen to a book on tape (British readers only, please!) and often just work in silence, which really isn't silence at all but a flexible space for thoughts to grow and for the wind to fill. Hours disappear that way.

Because I am a food lover....what is your favorite thing to eat?
Warm chocolate chip scones with butter slathered on them, and a tall glass of cold milk! My recipe found HERE

Please make sure you go and thoroughly explore her shop....there are so many fun things to find! Polaroid prints, hand made clay magnets, these cute little embroidered journals and so much more!

For the giveaway today Brooke is giving away this hand picked set of her clay magnets
(my fav is the plant:).
Just go visit her shop, and leave a comment letting me know your very favorite item.
Also be sure to visit her on flickr and her cute blog....I am in love with her photos!
Comments will be accepted until Thursday, 5/27 at midnight, and the winner will be announced Friday.
Tweet/facebook/or blog and come back for an extra entry!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED

28 comments:

barbara said...

wonderful! i just recently found her blog and love it! what a fantastic interview AND giveaway... i love this print...
http://www.etsy.com/listing/46442984/polaroid-photograph-sit-a-spell-brooke
keeping my fingers crossed :)

Christina said...

I love her altered book - sea glass. What a different concept - I love seeing something totally new to me!

Christina

Shannon said...

Fun magnets! I like the Embroidered Pocket Notebook - Snail. Super cute.

the lehman five said...

Rock towers - i love the rock towers.

Melanie Meik said...

i love the "always time for tea" photograph!

f. said...

Hello there!
I didn't know her work but was marvelled at the Wave - Archival Print. It has lots of movement, and for a second it seemed almost a 3-D print. As for the clay magnets, they are too cute! I think the blue rain cloud is my ablsolute favorite...

Anneliese said...

the Polaroid prints are ALL fab!!

Janelle. said...

Wow, lots of cute things to choose from...I love the embroidered notebooks...probably the snail if I had to choose just one! I also like the blue rain cloud magnet!

Scott and Lori Smith said...

love her Polaroids of trees. blue blue sky!

Angela said...

I'm totally enamored with the snail Polaroid!

I'm a regular reader of Brooke's blog and love her work :)

Cindy said...

great interview! I love the variety of things in brooke's shop...earthy...poetic...
for very favorite, I will choose the polaroid print of 'the pause'...
thanks for the giveaway opportunity, i love the magnets, too.

Moon Mommy said...

I just discovered Brooke's blog today. Her photography is amazing - an incredible talent. I'm in love with the moon magnets.
Your blog is wonderful, too. I will come back when I have more time to read ;-)

the crew said...

Such a great little shop! I loved the ladder magnets and the little American Goldfinch book! I will be checking her shop again soon.

CaJoBo said...

Thanks for sharing her with us! I love the camping photos on her blog - so relaxing just looking at them - and the mermaid magnets!

Betty said...

Brooke's polaroids simply take my breathe a way with the simplicity and the softness in color. Her shop is lovely, and her many talents are so inspirational. Can you tell I'm a fan!

Oh, and yes I love the little earth magnets!

Betty

Cindy said...

blogged it :-)

elisemdean said...

I love the sunlight polaroid. Also the journals are too cute :)

Kelly said...

I love the little snail journal!

gram said...

Sheena.. her art is really unique..! I would accept any of her magnets...

Heather said...

I really love her embroidered pocket notebooks! Everything is adorable though!

Tiffany said...

I love her white cloud clay magnet. I need it on my fridge :)

Samantha said...

http://www.etsy.com/listing/37006904/constellation-original-work love this so beautiful!

- Sam http://flavorator.blogspot.com/

Tasha said...

I adore the photo of the snail in the clovers. It's something that I never would have noticed or taken a picture of! And snails remind me that even when I feel small, God still watches over me :]

Mai said...

I like the embroidered Pocket Notebooks, what a great idea for a new project!

jenni kaufusi said...

love that cute little journal.
www.jenniadores.blogspt.com
enter my giveaway too.
xo jenni

Stephanie said...

I love her artwork called The Lake. It just feels so peaceful! But I must say I have a thing for the snail embroidered journal too :)

Erica Lea said...

I think the embroidered American Goldfinch journal is adorable. All her items are marvelous. Thank you!

katrina said...

i ADORE her photos. a flickr fave for sure. :D