USArtQuest founder chats to QGossip

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Susan Pickering Rothamel We're excited to be bringing you our first craft show with USArtQuest on Tuesday 9th November!

The hour long show will showcase a host of superb arts and crafts materials from the brand to tempt and inspire you.

Ahead of the show's luanch, we caught up with the founder of the company, Susan Pickering Rothamel, to find out more about USArtQuest, what inspires her craft projects and more…


How long have you personally been crafting?

I’ve worked as a professional artist for nearly 35 years. Half of those were spent making art – oil painting, enamels, pottery and my real love, collage. I was also busy raising my family, running the women's group at church, doing street shows and filling gallery walls. The other half of those 35 years has been spent in the arts and craft industry, beginning with USArtQuest, Inc. - a wonderful art and material-inspired manufacturing company.

When did you set up USArtQuest?

USArtQuest, Inc. began nearly 18 years ago with two unique videos and a search for the perfect adhesive. There wasn’t anything currently on the market, so I experimented until an adhesive was developed with all the qualities I was looking for – UV protection, acid-free, archival, non-sticky, non-toxic, and odour-free. The result was Perfect Paper Adhesive!

USArtQuest was formed to market this product as well as my instructional videos on collage and assemblage. That was in 1993. Since then, USArtQuest has continued researching and developing new and unusual mixed media art materials.

What do you think sets the USArtquest range apart from other brands?

USArtQuest really is unique from our competitors. We don’t have just ‘scrapbooking’ or ‘stamping’ or ‘art’ materials. Our products sit firmly in between the world of art and craft.  Manufactured with a standard of excellence, we make quality acrylic and watercolour paints, amazing adhesives, and a complete array of studio essentials.

What are your favourite craft projects to create and why?

Collage – on any surface! It provides me with the most diverse projects, whether art, craft or home décor.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

There is little that doesn’t inspire me! My everyday work may be inspired by many things – from nature to colour to music. My larger, more serious work is inspired by the Old Testament. When reading them, I see images that I put on canvas using paint or paper.

What do you think are the hot trends in crafting right now?

Collage remains strong, with a focus on grunge, vintage and steampunk. We see a great deal of interest in functional home décor – tabletop projects, window ideas and pillows, as well as personal ‘décor’ – journals, jewellery and hand-painted purses and bags.

What would be your top tip for crafting?

Use the best, most personally safe materials available. If you have found time to create, then good materials mean you’ll make something lasting.

What are your hobbies?

My personal interests are varied and they inescapably bump into my professional interests! They run the gamut of science, art, writing, inventing, building, collecting art or beautiful papers, reading and health. Another passion is interior design. So is organisation. In fact, my friend Frankie Fioretti and I have done mini-extreme makeovers on numerous homes and artist studios.

Don't forget to watch the Crafting with USArtQuest premiere show on Tuesday 9th November at 2pm!

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