Do what you love and I love dogs: Interview with artist Sue Kottwitz
We are so, so blessed to share our lives with dogs, and so, so lucky to have fabulous artists who can capture some of this spectacular relationship and charm of dogs in artwork. This time I want to introduce you to Sue Kottwitz, because she is a dog lover, and a super artist!
I track Sue down through her extensive web presence and tossed over a few questions so we could get to know her and appreciate her pieces.
One of my top questions (in case you haven't noticed already) is to ask if the artist has a favourite breed, Sue cheerfully responded, "What a tough question! People who know me well might guess Labrador Retrievers. My mother was a crazy dog lady and when I was born I had brother, Blackie Duke, who was a black Lab. Many of my own dogs have been Labs or Lab mixes.
"The first dog themed jewelry I made portrayed a Lab and a Golden Retriever which happened to be my own dogs at the time. Since then I've worked with over 80 dog breeds.
"However, I'd have to say that 'rescued' is my favorite dog breed. It gives me great pleasure to offer 'mutt' dog lover jewelry, as well as rescue, rainbow bridge and dog mom jewelry. Of course dog bones and paw prints are a reoccurring theme.
"They say to do what you love and I love dogs. All dogs. And I think dog lovers are the very best people. It gives me great joy to create something a dog lover can wear with a smile and a happy feeling in their heart." Which is a very special and heart warming response!
Next thought that leapt to my mind was to ask how we can buy items for our own collections, "
My jewelry can be purchased at my For Love of a Dog
web site http://www.ForLoveofaDog.com
"Because I am a very small one woman three dog business handling all elements of my business, including studio time, I prefer email correspondence rather than telephone.
"You can find me on social media:
"Prices for my jewelry items range from US$20 to $150. However, I almost always have items on sale. For example right now I have some necklaces on sale for $10. All of my prices include free standard shipping within the USA." And Sue was in a very generous mood, she went on to say, "Canine Collectables Courier readers can save 10% with this special discount code: DOGFINEARTS (case sensitive) Good for orders of $20 or more until December 31, 2015." (early Christmas shopping folks!)
Many artists find time to offer to undertake commissions, but Sue now doesn't, "Due to time constraints I no longer do any custom work or wholesale sales. I also rarely do production work - repetition of pieces - since I prefer making one of a kind items." Really, that is not surprising when you see the lovely range of items in so many breeds (but not mine!) that Sue has currently on her main website.
Time to delve a little further into Sue's psyche and interests, which of course contribute to the beautiful collectable items she produces, to this end I asked two more questions, the first to ask Sue to share her favourite dog books or films with us, "Though I'm not keen on violence of any kind, I just can't take violence against animals - especially dogs - in books or films. Therefore, I confess I avoid dog movies altogether and am incredibly picky about dog books.
"That said here are a few of my favorite books:
- Dog, Inc: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man's Best Friend by John Woestendiek proves truth is stranger than fiction.
- Guardians of Being: Spiritual Teachings from Our Dogs and Cats by Eckhart Tolle and Patrick McDonnell reaffirms for me that humans should approach life like dogs for happiness.
- Old Dogs Are the Best Dogs by Gene Weingarten and Michael S. Williamson - the title says it all.
- Dogs by photographer Tim Flach is absolutely an amazing art book.
- Rescue Me, Maybe by Jackie Bouchard is a light hearted cozy romance and I can rest assured that the dogs will be okay in dog lover Bouchard's books."
I can't agree more with Sue about violence, and add to that stupid owner behaviour, being a lynch pin to dog stories ... but that's my story, not Sue's! OK, readers, you will be thrilled to know that Sue collects, dog things, "Not only am I dog crazy, I'm also crazy about vintage. I collect antiques that feature dogs. My collection includes vintage dog bowls, Nipon salt & peppers, bookends, wall pockets and way more than my husband would prefer!" May be we can convince Sue to share her parts of her collection with Canine Collectables Courier one day too ... if she has time!