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On 10/30/2015
I am inspired by artists’ technique, by how they make a material sing and bring it to life.

Innovative Design and Color – With Deborah

Have you ever wondered how the designers at Spradling International became the creative, skilled individuals they are today?

We wanted to give you an opportunity to learn more about our designers and their work, so we decided to interview them to get some insight into what makes them tick.

Whether you are an aspiring designer, an experienced professional or just interested in the world of coated fabrics, this interview series is intended for you. Perhaps you will glean a new perspective from our talented designers. Or maybe you will gain a greater understanding of the creative work behind the colors and patterns you see today.


An Interview with Deborah

My grandmother was a folk artist who braided her own wool rugs and amazing colorful rag rugs,” says Deborah, when asked what first drew her to the world of design. 

“She had an incredible natural aesthetic, and even today one of her very modern looking rugs is in my guest bedroom, sitting happily with a modern sofa in black and white houndstooth.” 

Deborah inherited her grandmother’s penchant for design and color, which led to her decision to pursue a creative career. 

Originally from Pittsburgh, Deborah obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Retailing from Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. After graduation, she started out in the contract furnishing business, eventually landing in creative consulting.


The Job – Color Work 

Deborah has worked with Spradling International for over ten years, and now works as a Design Director doing what she calls reinvention of vinyl upholstery. She works with a lot of color and attends relevant tradeshows and galleries for inspiration.

“My goal is for the skin or materials of products to resonate with the user and designers,” she says. “I want them to evoke an emotional connection through the visual and the tactile senses.”

For Deborah, colors are the most important and exhilarating part of her job. When coloring material, she hopes to uplift the viewer through her design. She adds, “I am inspired by artists’ technique, by how they make a material sing and bring it to life.”


Creative Influences

Art inspires and influences Deborah’s work above anything else. When she is able to engage the artist in a discussion about the inspiration and intent behind their work, she considers it an incentive.

“I love to have that communion with the artists in dialogue,” she says.

For further inspiration, she closely follows the work of some of her favorite contemporary artists like architect Santiago Calatrava and contract designer Patricia Urquiola.

Deborah is challenged by how she can bring a continuously greater level of design to vinyl upholstery. “I am always trying to think of how we can be more innovative with our processes,” she says. “I love to understand even the manufacturing process, because that is how you can create innovation, by truly understanding the process.”

Deborah hopes people will see beautiful color in her work, as well as designs that uplift the viewer and brighten the world around them.