Travel companions holding secrets & tales of past lives are what Leslie Oschmann crafts for her label Swarm Home. Her creations have long been a favourite of mine after I adopted one of her bags to hold my daily treasures and I watched it age beautifully, edges fraying & colours fading. Her bags, clutches, chairs and other wares are made with recycled paintings & materials found in Dutch markets, French homes or Belgian antique stores; each is one of a kind. I imagine her wares at vintage brocantes in Paris, or even in an old tinkers shed. Her bags & cushions especially, which we are lucky to stock at The Society Inc. (see here, here, here & here) have so many stories to tell, and even more stories to hold.

Where are you located?

I live/work in Amsterdam. I am in the east part of the city – on a little island a bit undiscovered. I was lucky enough to find a very large studio (in Amsterdam standards). It is 120 square meters with 5 meter high ceilings. Heaven! It is what we (in the US) call a Quonset Hut and in NL they call it loods. Kind of an airplane hanger design. The perfect enviroment – can have all my work around me. Large sliding glass doors and a lovely little garden just outside.

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Colour you’re drawn to?

At the moment, blue. Changes often. I am typically drawn to natural vegetable colors. Nothing too bright. But recently been liking a bit of natural with primary added.

Where are you travelling to next?

I am heading to Venice soon. I have never been and have heard only amazing things. I am going for the Beinnale – which I am sure will be very inspiring. After that I head to Africa. My favorite. Have been several times before (Tanzania, Botswana, Egypt). This time heading to Swaziland. Friends of mine have moved there recently and are setting up a makers workshop of sorts. Who knows – I do love Africa!

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Secret spots in Amsterdam?

Oh so many. But there is a lot of new exciting things happening in the North of Amsterdam these days. Amsterdam proper has become pretty gentrified and the “fringe” kind of things are typically in the East and the North.

What keeps you inspired?

Materials – and materials in mass. I like to take found items and alter them into a new life.

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Favourite artist?

Guess I would have to say my all time favorite constants are Francis Bacon and Gerhard Richter

What is currently on your bookshelf?

Jane Goodall – The Women Who Redefined Man

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To see more of Leslie’s work visit her website. Stay tuned for more Swarm products as they arrive at The Society Inc. Don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter on our home page to stay informed about when these new items will be in stock.

Written by Amber TSI Byron — October 28, 2019

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