Thursday, February 24, 2011

Member Spotlight - Reclaimed Designs

Meet Jennifer Strohm whose shop on Etsy is Reclaimed Designs. She grew up in Rockland County and now lives in Rhinebeck.

Tell us a little about yourself
I am a RN/ I studied for 2 years at the Philadelphia Academy of fine Arts and took courses in ceramics, painting and drawing at art centers in Philadelphia.

What led you to your current craft?
I became interested in mosaics after finding a book about making “crazy mosaics”. After completing my first project I wanted to mosaic anything that I could get my hands on.

How do you feed your creativity?
I am a constant collector of junk finds; boxes, frames, vintage china, keys, hooks, and scour junk shops, flea markets and garage sales for mosaic materials. I collect craft books and get inspiration from the nature surrounding me here in the Hudson Valley.

How do you work deal with a creative block?
My productivity comes to me in spurts. When I feel blocked, I take some time off, clean my work space, and do not push myself.

Describe your work area.
I have a room in my house with a work table. My space tends to get messy since I always have boxes of china shards, and stacks of dishes. The walls are filled with clippings of inspirational drawings, cards, and photos. There are pillows on the floor since my 2 dogs always lie on the floor as I work. I have a CD player/radio for constant music.

Favorite time of day to work?
Since I work fulltime, I tend to work in the evenings, but any time that I have to make mosaics is my favorite time.

How did you end up on Etsy?
In 2005, I read an article in The Poughkeepsie Journal about etsy. 2 years ago, I set a goal for myself to have enough work to open a shop on etsy.

Any guilty pleasures?
I have to stop myself from collecting too many things as my urge for broken, rusty, vintage finds is never ending.

Words of wisdom for aspiring artists?
I would advise aspiring artists to continue to make what they love and not give into what may be popular, or what you think would sell. Creative blocks do happen. Be adventurous.


  1. Nice to meet you Jennifer! I love your work. Mosaic fascinates me. Sounds like we are kindred with the scouring and collecting.

  2. Awww, that little bird house is the cutest

  3. I love mosaic work. I have a cross made from some lovely old dish pieces! BTW - - I'm part of the EBT team!

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  5. A fellow nurse, that is great!. Your work is beautiful. Nice to get to know you better.

  6. Odd, but my previous post isn't here any more. Nice article, Jennifer. Was the art before the nursing? Isn't it great to be able to come full circle?