One of the biggest perks of working with Brooklyn makers is getting to know them as artists and learning more about their process. Adam Holtzinger and Susan Spiranovich of KEEP have been producing work for some of NYC's most prestigious lighting designers and continue to teach the art of glassblowing around the world. We've been so excited about the launch of their own line that we decided to chat with them about their beginnings, and get some insight into what motivates and inspires their work.
How long have you been working as a team and how did you decide to launch your own line?
We met our first day of school at The Cleveland Institute of Art in 1998 and moved to NYC together in 2003. We began collaborating on projects and making work together 4 or 5 years ago and realized that our varied skill sets and years of friendship produced a great dynamic. From there we started to design and make objects we wanted to see in our own home, which led us to launching KEEP.
What was the first piece you made that really took off?
We just launched our first two collections this past August, and thus far our Cane Collection has gotten great reception. When we developed the Drift pattern specifically, we realized "that's it, that's us" and felt that our excitement for this piece would resonate with others.
Which artists and designers are you most inspired by?
We both tend to be inspired by mid-century design, whether it be architecture, furniture or objects. Designers Tapio Wirkkala and Carlo Scarpa are big sources of inspiration, as well as the quality of craftsmanship that came out of Venini during that era.
There are many artists and designers whose work we love to look at, but it doesn't necessarily translate into what we're producing. Although some of that admiration could be inadvertently influencing our decision making.
Are you experimenting with any new designs?
We are constantly experimenting with new shapes and ideas. Prior to launching a new object, we find that living with it first in our studio space is one of the most important but time consuming parts of the process.
Who has control over the playlist when you're working together? And what's your favorite neighborhood spot after a long workday?
Luckily we have the same taste in music so there's no fighting over playlist control. Always Iron Maiden.
Our go to spots after a long work day are Hometown BBQ in Red Hook, and lately we try to catch some comedy at Littlefield on Monday nights.
If you take a look at KEEP Brooklyn's Instagram you'll see how dynamic their work process really is.