Public Republic random header image

Artist of the Week — Kelly Caruso

March 12, 2012 by · 12 comments

An Interview with Artist and Furnitre Designer Kelly Caruso by Yordan Tachev

Kelly Caruso

What role does the artist have in society?

As a designer, I feel that my role in society is to contribute creative solutions to problems in everyday life.

How has your practice changed over time?

My practice has changed with my gain of knowledge of materials and techniques. I am constantly seeking new materials to apply to my furniture designs.

Kelly Caruso

What themes do you incorporate in your designs?

I always take into consideration the concept of function when I am designing. People should demand more of their furniture, even in a material sense.

What do you think about the artistic world in Buffalo? Is there hope for young artists here, or should we all run to New York?

I’ve lived in Buffalo for seven years now and I’ve truly seen a growth in the art community. There seems to be a sort of mini Renaissance happening here. Of course there is always hope for young artists, but they need to come together to accomplish their goals.

What is your dream project?

I always love to create things with other people. Working on collaborations with designers from other disciplines is always interesting and exciting. There is a sort of energy that feeds the creative process and drives it to a different level.

Kelly Caruso

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

The best advice I’ve been given was by a professor. He said that there is a point in the design process where you just need to stop designing and start making. I think this is true in so many ways. Design problems seem to work themselves out in the construction process.

Professionally, what’s your goal?

I’d like to design for a larger company and perhaps have my own line of home goods as well.

What wouldn’t you do without, when working on a project?


What inspires you – and do you use that inspiration directly to create a piece of art or do you channel towards something you are already working on?

I’m very inspired by the Danish Modern and Scandinavian style of furniture. I admire their use of materials in such an effortless and natural way. I started collecting furniture pieces from thrift stores at a young age and that’s how I became interested in furniture design. I try to absorb my surroundings and find inspiration in the natural world. I’m also very inspired by the techniques and processes in woodworking.

Kelly Caruso

Is there a process or ritual you go through before you begin creating? And if so, what is it?

Truthfully, sometimes I just let the material speak to me for itself. A design can start out one way and end up completely different by the time it is completed. Other times if something I’ve planned for doesn’t come out the way I envisioned, I will alter my design to make the mistake work for the piece. Things have a way of working themselves out.

Do you create because of a need to create or is it a series of events that brought you to a habit of creation? Or is there some other reason you became an artist?

I’ve always been a creative person. I use it as an outlet for expression. There is a sort of instant gratification and deep fulfillment I get out of using my hands, working with natural materials and creating things.

Are you ever satisfied with your work? If you are, how do you know when you are done? If not, how do you let go of a piece of art?

Personally, I am a perfectionist. I don’t really ever consider any of my pieces as finished, but there is always a time to let go and to look forward to new creations. I try to imagine the piece with an owner, who will use the piece and make it his or her own.

Kelly Caruso

You seem to be working with both Fibers and Wood. Why did you choose those two particular fields? Are they similar? Does one influence the other and how?

The materials from both fields seem to compliment each other. I am a self-taught seamstress and took a class on weaving, where I learned to weave on a floor loom. I was very attracted to mixing the traditional craft of weaving and fiber design with woodworking. I then learned how to crochet and began hand weaving. I used this technique in my piece, Falla.

Related posts ↓

12 comments so far ↓

  • Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!