Friday, December 13, 2013

Sturtz Creative Lighting

: having or showing an ability to make new things or think of new ideas
: using the ability to make or think of new things : involving the process by which new ideas, stories, etc., are created

I can think of no better word to define good friend Rick Sturtz and what must go on when the synapses are firing inside his mind.   He invented “thinking outside the box.”  He’s one of those people who has a canny ability to see things different (taking nothing from Steve Jobs here) no matter what his endeavor.  

Over the years, and especially since he and wife Toni moved “down the road” as country neighbors,  a highlight of my day would be stopping by their home for a visit.  I’d be pretty much guaranteed the best cup of coffee in the world and some stimulating conversation, ranging from the beauty of their restored prairie and farmstead, to living life in retirement (not me yet) to his latest projects.   No one could be more excited to share things he’s working on than Rick. 

“So what’s with the lights?” I’d asked recently. Word on the street (dusty dirt and gravel roads of the Town of Hewett anyway) is he’d started a company tackling the world of buying, refurbishing and selling old industrial lights.  Now Ricks talent as an artist in the woodworking field is well known, where he creates magical pieces of furniture from stockpiles of amazing wood.  Rick is a true wood connoisseur, but old lights? 

Rick always has had a menagerie of things he finds and repurposes-again, thinking outside the box.  I’d seen some of his lights in their remodeled farmhouse and a local supper club and they are very interesting pieces.  I love them.  It seems now he’s jumped in with both feet.  I was dazzled by the variety of lights hung from every nook and cranny of his workshop, even spilling out the door.   He’d wisely decided that instead of going the ebay route, a more professional tactic would be creating a web page with examples of his best inventory.  By chance I was invited to just hang out and monitor Rick and son Eric’s progress in photographing these intriguing pieces.  Of course, my camera was in hand and I could photograph the photographers, plus ramble around the shop and record anything else of interest-no shortage there.

What follows are some of my favorites from the session and for me on a personal note, it just felt good to press the shutter again and again while trying to “see” pictures.  In the background, Eric and Rick experimented and tried new lighting techniques in their shots, while attempting to stay consistent in the images for the web page.  I rather enjoyed their banter, along with the oldies Christmas music in the background which we were constantly quizzed on.   It didn’t take long for me to forget these were once (and would be again) purposeful items as I just enjoyed them as shapes, forms and abstractions casting shadows within the confines of the shop.


  1. Thanks for sharing. Toni and Bobbi told me about it but I needed that "visual" to see the real artistry in Rick's latest endeavor! Takes one to show one!

  2. Rick and Toni and two of the most talented, genuine, grounded, generous and humble individuals I know, and I am privileged to call them family.

  3. Great shots of the lights from the non-backdrop point of view. :) These two have been working hard on photographing the lights and getting the website set up! :)

  4. Beautiful site, demonstrates Rick's remarkable creativity and the variety of "treasures" that he has rescued, refurbished, and repurposed. Love the text as well. Congratulations!