What elements make a beautiful collection? Variations on a meaningful theme. A dash of fabulous finds. A sprinkle of rarity, kitsch or sentimentality. But perhaps the most significant quality of all is 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. We see that phenomenon everyday in the brilliant, creative collections of Etsy treasuries.
Today we welcome the fabulous Suzanna Scott to The Collectors. Collage artist and dedicated collection hunter, Suzanna shares 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. I’m also 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 the fascination that went along with it.
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 and anywhere. You name it: thrift shops, yard sales, antique dives, online shops, estate sales and people who know me tend to send 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: I’m 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. By offering instant collections to others from my vintage shop on Etsy, I’m able to enjoy the hunt, feed my habit, and stay sane in a relatively tidy studio while co-existing in peace with my very patient husband.
How do you create and curate your instant collections?
When I’m putting a collection together, I always look for items that “fit” together in some way (for example: color, size, shape, texture, theme). When I photograph them, I try my best to represent the items in a variety of arrangements so my customers can draw inspiration for how they could incorporate the objects 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 saucer collections.
What do you think draws folks to collect?
The thrill of the hunt — at least that’s the way it is for me!
Be sure to visit the inspiring artistic collections of Suzanna’s SushiPot shop, filled with tantalizing assemblage and collage. For vintage objects and ephemera (and fabulous instant collections galore!) check out SushiPotParts. Now let’s all go on a creative discovery treasure hunt in our own homes. Just imagine the gorgeous collections that await in the top drawer of your desk and the shoebox under the bed!
What do you collect? What makes a great collection? Please tell us in the notes below. We’d love to hear!
I’m Kristal Davis (a.k.a. rikrak) and I just love seeing what folks are collecting. I feel it tells us a little bit about what inspires them. The Collectors series, first published on my own little blog is 11 and a half quick questions with a wonderful artist on what they’re collecting — apart from their art supplies!