Official Sponsor Announcement!

Good news, folks!

Passport To Design is growing up …and has now acquired a new official sponsor!

I’d like to introduce you to a truly unique company that specializes in one-of-a-kind clocks, lamps and custom home decor:


I had the pleasure of e-meeting Ron Ostlund, the artist behind Ostlund Custom Works, over twitter when I saw a link he provided to his Etsy shop. I was quite impressed with his super-cool custom works of art and was ecstatic to hear that he wanted to sponsor my little ol’ baby, Passport To Design. I love Ron’s work because it’s very original, but he also takes up-cycling and re-purposing materials to heart – a concept that is becoming more and more important to us given the fragile state of our environment. Ron gets his raw materials from scrap yards, but he also recycles materials from unwanted products – a great way to stay GREEN and be creative.

I want you to get to know Ron… he is very talented and equally friendly (and a new daddy too)! He was nice enough to take the time to answer some questions I had about him and his work, and so I present you with:

A Super-Duper Awesome Interview With Ron Ostlund -
The Creative Mind Behind Ostlund Custom Works

Ron holding his baby boy, Liam.

I first started Ostlund Custom Works back in 2005 with big ideas and dreams…all of which fell on their face when I didn’t sell anything in years.  I did, however, hold onto the dream somewhere in the back of my mind.  It’s one of those things that you bring up every now and then with the far away look…..”someday I am going to build that piece of furniture“…..”someday I will design furniture for the rich and famous.”  I know everybody knows what I’m talking about, we all have those ideas and dreams.  The most important thing is to act on them and not give up!
Back in April 2010 my good friend, Candy, told me about and I set up a shop, pulled out all my old work from 2005, I dusted it off and listed it.  Then I went full bore and started building like crazy, deciding it was time to “do or die” and make this thing called OCW work!

Futurism Envision

I feel the best part of what I do is the fact that I didn’t study anything about art and design. “I am untainted by formal training,” I like to say. I just let my own creativity flow.  My dad taught me how to use tools and how to build basic things and I took shop class in highschool.
Most of the crafting/carpentry stuff is self-taught. I have since studied art and design on my own, but the building came naturally to me. As a kid, I was always taking stuff apart to learn how it worked and most often I ended up building something new with the parts.  I built a lot of my own toys out of scrap wood that my dad would bring home from work.  I would then add electric motors from toys I would take apart and build little cars, boats and airplanes.

Et Illumination on display at the Continuum Art Gallery in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

I like things that do something, that have a purpose instead of things that just look pretty.  I want artful design in something I use; aesthetics and function that work together and become one!
I love having a vision and concept in my mind and then making it come to life. Lamps are fun because the ones I see at the store are so boring and everybody has them.  I wanted something different.  We light our lives with lamps, yet they lack energy and character.  I would like to think that my lamps give off a positive energy. I like using vintage style bulbs for the low color temp and the warm ambiance.  It’s calming, heart-warming, and can make a cold piece of aluminum seem more delicate.

A messy workman's desk is indicative of productivity!

The clocks are even more fun! Time is everything but a boring clock is just a reminder of time passed!  My clocks are more than that, they are moving sculptures that make you think.  Not just about time that’s past or the future but about right now, about what you are looking at and how it makes you feel.  Art makes you stop and pay attention to what you see, to take notice of something outside of our busy lives.

Turning my visions into reality inspires me! Hopefully someone will see a piece of my work and just go nuts over it because it speaks to them. I have seen this happen in person and on line with some sales and it makes me so happy.
Here’s a story:  Last summer I participated in the West Central Art Festival in Indiana. Along comes this guy and he stops at my tent, he sees one of my clocks, Potential Momentum, and just goes nuts!  He was absolutely giddy with delight.  He walked away holding his new clock chuckling to himself.  That guy was inspired by what he saw and it showed… THAT is inspiration to me!

Potential Momentum (SOLD)

New pieces are pretty much all just one-of-a-kind creations, I build them as I am inspired.  However, I do plan to design collections in the near future.  I have been “sitting” on a living room furniture set in my mind for years!  All I will say about it is that it was inspired by bike frames that used carbon fiber tubing and aluminum lugs.
My favourite piece is the Photonic Aura Generator lamp because it’s such a beast and received a lot of attention. I could have easily sold it 10 times over and for much more than it went for, but it is a one-of-a-kind piece of art and the owner is very happy with it, which makes me happy. It is a piece that commands attention with its very presence yet has a calming effect because of its soft glow.  I actually miss it!

Photonic Aura Generator

One thing that is most important in the scope of everything is NOT TO GIVE UP!  If you have a dream go for it or it will remain a dream forever!  I do encourage people to learn about their craft and their style…and don’t be afraid to do something unusual! The world is full of the “Usual“, it’s the unusual things that make our lives more interesting.

Time For Victory (SOLD to Tania from Passport To Design)

Click HERE to check out Ostlund Custom Works‘ Etsy page – be sure to check in often since Ron is always working on new pieces.
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  1. Thank you for doing such an amazing job on my post! I am very excited to be a new sponsor and hope the readers enjoy my work.

  2. Thank YOU for being an official sponsor, Ron :) Passport To Design is happy to have you on board!

  3. Congrats on your first sponsor Tania! What beautiful work! And I love hearing about how artists start on their artistic paths and what makes them tick (Get it? Clocks?) :)

  4. HAHA good one, Shannon! The artistic process has to start somewhere, it’s true. Thanks for the congrats, I’m looking forward to working with Ron.

  5. Congratulations Tania!

  6. Gracias, Wendy! :) hope you’ll check out some of Ron’s work on Etsy.

  7. This is so great!! I am a huge fan of Ron certainly as an artist but even more so as a person and friend:) I have no doubts on the success he has coming his way! Congratulations to you Tania for having him as your official sponsor:)

  8. Thank you, April. I’m really happy to have Ron on board!

  9. I also met Ron through Twitter. I love seeing his creative projects and how he repurposes items. I look forward to seeing a lot more!

  10. Love the “industrial” lighting Ron. Best wishes to both you of you!

  11. Nancy – thanks for your comments, it’s nice to see another fan of Ron’s work here!

    Sharon – Ron seems to be an industrial-design master :)

  12. Wow! I love the amazing and unique work by Ron! Especially the totally cool Clocks!!
    Great interview!

  13. Ron brings improvement to something we all need to do…know what time its. Very inspirational and unique delivery of the Ole Man Time. Congratulations to both of you…good things await you…as “time” will tell.

  14. I want to thank everyone for the wonderful comments and kind words! I am very excited about the direction that my work is going, and all of you who notice!

  15. Ruth – Thanks for reading and commenting! Ron has super cool clocks, glad you like them.
    Marisa – Glad you enjoyed seeing Ron’s work here. I’m sure “time will tell” that’s he’s a major up-and-coming artist! As for now, I’m glad we’re able to work together. Thanks for reading!


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