Thom Ertl

“Creativity has always been central to my life,” says Thom J. Ertl, artist and owner of Thom J. Ertl Designs. “I was fortunate to spend my childhood with a thoughtful, creative, sometimes nontraditional person who encouraged me to think beyond the expectations. Grandma Patterson and I spent our free time ‘doing’ arts and crafts. Whether creating projects from scratch or using pre-made kits, Grandma always encouraged me to experiment and try the thoughts in my head.”

Thom J. Ertl was born and raised on a multigenerational vegetable farm and orchard located in southeastern Wisconsin. His family has owned and operated the farm and orchard for more than 100 years. Along with the expectations of being “a farm kid,” he always made time to be inspired by the world around him.

“I remember my childhood as a magical time to explore, to realize what life had to offer, and having the sanctity of Grandma’s permission to do that,” says Ertl. “She had this way of guiding what we were doing without influencing it too much, without turning it into her project, her creation or her end result.

“I continue to put into practice what my childhood brought to me. Grandma’s love, support and influence have been invaluable in the thought process I employ today.”

Thom J. Ertl Designs is a hybrid of wall art and furniture. It incorporates and recycles common, everyday items—bottle caps, beads, fabric, bric-a-brac, just to name a few—into modern, artistic, practical, original home furnishings and interior design. It is a reflection of over 35 years of artistic experience, combining visual merchandising, graphic design and contemporary urban assemblage with a strong sense of whimsy and color and a thought-provoking element of surprise.


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