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DaW: J Schatz & Over The Transom Studio

August 13, 2018 /// Featuring: J Schatz & Over The Transom Studio

August 13, 2018 /// Featuring: J Schatz & Over The Transom Studio

J Schatz

We've all seen the bright colors and shiny ceramics... but what is the story of J Schatz? It all started with an egg. Jim Schatz’s foray into design began with egg-shaped lamps, and soon expanded to houses and feeders for his feathered friends. More product lines followed, and a total J Schatz world emerged. With a background in furniture and lighting design, Peter Souza brought new and different strengths to the company, encouraging unique forms, textures, and finishes that resulted in the J Schatz Earth line. A new partnership was born, both personal and professional, and they put down roots within a community of artisans in Providence, RI.

The J Schatz studio in Olneyville is such a pleasure to visit! Not only due to the colorful ceramics and beautiful architecture, but also because of Jim and Peter. We asked them about their design story and inspiration...

Why do you design? "The love of clean lines, whimsical colors. Of the process. Of the modern aesthetic. Love of design. Love in business and in life, as partners. Love of Providence, a place we found when we were looking to move our business out of LA two years ago because we know it was a place we could call home, a place with a tight-knit community."

What about Rhode Island inspires you to design here? "Thanks to community we found in RI, we are inspired. Thanks to DESIGNxRI for connecting designers and connecting us with our mentor Deb McDonough - who took us by the hand and showed us where the wonder in our company was hidden. 

We moved into our studio in the Olneyville section of Providence a little over 2 years ago and are inspired everyday by the community we found here. The neighborhood is changing fast and we are at the forefront of making sure that the mill buildings in the area find homes for artists to live and work in. We believe this area is one of the final frontiers in the urban U.S. market where an artist can afford to own their studio and live space and we are doing whatever it takes to secure the remaining buildings in our area for this purpose. If you are an artists looking for a new place to call home please contact us and we will guide you in your move to Providence and Olneyville."

See below some extra photos of the A M A Z I N G space at J Schatz. The playful ceramics fit so perfectly into the repurposed mill building - the natural light and exposed brick complement the colors and gloss of J Schatz's signature work!


Austin Blanks - founder of a new Rhode Island design practice called Over The Transom Studio - has an inspiring mission as a designer.

Austin initially came to Rhode Island for RISD (as many designers do) but now he lives here because of the vibrant community of artists and designers working to shape life and progress in this state. He gets inspired by the many types of firms and practices here that are innovative, doing things that no one else is doing.

Just a few months ago, Austin launched Over The Transom Studio, a firm that specializes in residential design and architectural research.

What is OVER THE TRANSOM STUDIO? "Architecture and buildings are part of a broader ecosystem and environment which affect and are affected by the dynamic forces of that specific context. So architecture in this studio is thought of as a flexible organism - something that moves and responds to its environment, in both an ecological perspective and a civic one.”

CURRENT PROJECTS “I’m currently working on a small residential artist’s studio that’s on the beach, and we are having fun shaping and creating artificial landscapes that both foster community within its specific region and has a comment about bettering the environmental impact it has on its site.”

Find more of Austin online at !

*Videos from Over The Transom Studio coming this Thursday to Instagram!*

Thanks to the teams at both JSchatz and Over The Transom Studio for inviting us into your space. Check out the video clips we took at their studios, up TODAY and Thursday on Instagram Stories (@designisrhodeisland).

Want to join in? Post yourself working on something cool using the hashtags #DesignIsRhodeIsland and #DesignersAtWork on Instagram, or reach out to if you know a Rhode Island designer who should be featured in this series!

Katherine Magee