Susie Frazier's career began 20 years ago when she decided to rescue broken slate roofing tiles as they were being torn off of old Cleveland buildings. Teaching herself how to use an industrial grade wet saw, she cut thousands of tiles into pieces, standing on her feet 5 - 7 hours a day for three years. During that time, she also taught herself basic woodworking skills so she had a substrate to apply her mosaic patterns for fine art, accent furniture, and tabletop accessories that she sold through art festivals and galleries coast to coast. As of 1997, she was the first known person in the U.S. to create a line of home decor products made from reclaimed construction materials.
Despite having an environmental dust collection system for her workshop, microscopic stone powder still landed on her exposed skin, absorbing into her body. As a result, she developed something called stone mason’s disease, which essentially caused free radical damage in her red blood cells. She had to stop making anything out of stone so she could heal, or expect that she would develop cancer. The decision was simple.
After stepping away from slate in 2001, she found a new joy in salvaging driftwood, bark, and grass from natural settings to create ecology art for interiors. Over the years, she was asked to make small furniture and other decor to complement her art, which led her back to building tabletop accents. This time she looked deeper into the construction landscape and found discarded wood and scrap steel. Eventually, she enlisted the help of other makers in order to keep up with demand and cut her pieces to size. Her entire showroom had become an expression of a new eco-modern aesthetic, and people wanted it.
In 2016, with her partners at Mont Surfaces, she launched a platform for builders and consumers to take a more wellness-based approach with regard to decorating their homes. Susie’s article, Soulful Home, Healthy Mind: 6 Reflective Design Tips For Fostering Wellness, was recently published in Organic Spa Magazine.
Today, Susie makes custom furniture, original art and decorative accessories made with the help of master fabricators and in-house staff. With every project, she still takes on some portion of the job herself. This year, she's learning how to weld, thanks to support from Lincoln Electric, and she's already hooked. Proof that the saying “makers always gonna make” is definitely true.
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