Ghillie Suite by Ian Schmidt


A Ghillie suit is a type of camouflage clothing first worn by Scottish gamekeepers as a portable hunting blind. It has been adapted by the military as a form of camouflage for snipers. The suit aids the shooter to blend into their surroundings and to break up the body so as to not be visible. This idea of camouflage was the beginning point for this series of portraits taken in 2017. Both the figure’s position and clothing were staged to replicate the idea of a traditional portrait. The image uses ties draped across the face to hide the face, while at the same time adorning the body in order to camouflage the figure.

As a young boy one of my first experiences with a tie was one of my father teaching me how to tie a Windsor knot in a silk tie. I used this experience to connect ideas of social hierarchy with the image of an adorned body.

GAS Student Representative by Ian Schmidt

This past month I ended my term as the 2017 Glass Arts Society's Student Representative. This position was one of the great privileges of my glass career. My father was part of a group of artists who formed this organization in the early 1970's. My mother has been a member of GAS for decades and a conference attendee for an equal amount of time. It was a privilege to serve in this role and I had the opportunity to work with some amazing artists. Serving on boards and committees are important for artists looking to contribute to the dialogue of a community. I look forward to continuing being a part of GAS. 

Ian Schmidt 2017 Glass Arts Society Student Representative

Ian Schmidt 2017 Glass Arts Society Student Representative

2024 Studio by Ian Schmidt

This past July Mathew Speedy and myself opened a new work space in at 2024 E. Westmoreland in Port Richmond, Philadelphia. It is a 1,780 square foot space that we are outfitting with various wood, metal and cold glass equipment. The space is also part of the artist community here known as The Loom and is a vibrant space for makers and business to set up spaces for their various practices. Our space is an effort to both expand our own practice but also to set up a fabrication business that will take on various projects for artists and designers. This is also a working studio and will provide the space to create new bodies of work. 

Fabrication Game-Monument Lab by Ian Schmidt

Battle of Germantown monument instillation shot. 08/2017

Battle of Germantown monument instillation shot. 08/2017

Part of my practice has involved for the last few years fabrication. This past summer I spent 8 weeks working on a project for Monument Lab in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The monument is commemorated to the Battle of Germantown in 1776 and is located in Germantown, Philadelphia. The piece was designed by the Artist Karen Oliver, who is the head professor at Tyler School of Art's Sculpture program. Working under the fabrication company RustFab LLC. and lead fabricator Tim Rusterholz, we assembled a stud construction frame that supported half inch plywood and then a final layer of reflective plexiglass. This project is the start of some of the collaborative efforts of a team of fabricators here in Philadelphia. Tim Rusterholz, Matthew Speedy and I have been making inroads on setting up uniquely designed and executed custom fabrication work. The piece will be up for the next few months and will be part of a series of art works through out the city.