portfolio blog

Schwindamania is the portfolio and blog of Jackson, Mississippi graphic designer Darren Schwindaman. I'm currently completing design work for small business and non-profit clients. Contact me if you'd like to work together.


Bottle Tree Artist Stephanie Dwyer Meets Felder Rushing


Jackson metal artist (and Darren Schwindaman client!) Stephanie Dwyer, known especially for her bottle trees, recently met Felder Rushing at an arts show in Jackson. Felder is a celebrity gardener extraordinaire & author of multiple books, hosts a show on Mississippi Public Radio, and wins garden design awards like it’s his job.

Mr. Rushing is also a bottle tree enthusiast, traveling across the South researching the folklore and evolution of bottle trees. He’s enthusiastically taken to Stephanie’s bottle trees, telling her, “You’re taking bottle trees to a whole new artistic level. I love it.” Stephanie brings an organic approach to the metal of bottle trees. She uses high quality metal and not rebar, which can have the appearance of mangled discards from a construction site. She has embraced the folklore wholeheartedly and has been glad to learn from Felder’s extensive experience with bottle trees.

I’m working on branding materials for Stephanie, as well as consulting to help her navigate the media world to show off her art. For her look, I’ve come up with what I’m calling “Smart Southern.” Her color palette is bright and contemporary, yet takes its inspiration from the colors of things like old farm doors. Nostalgic typography is used in bold ways to ccomplement the feeling of atmosphere and folklore that shines in her work.

Here’s a sneak peek at the website look and feel we’re working on:


Photography courtesy of Thomas Beck of Beck Photographic
Learn about Felder Rushing, bottle trees, and all things Mississippi.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 - 10:59 AM


I think “Smart Southern” is a something you yourself would like to be known as Darren. Admit it.

By Brian on Feb 02, 2009 - 11:03 AM

I want to compliment you on the branding you’ve created for Stephanie Dwyer. I discovered her work through an article about Felder Rushing in “Fine Gardening” magazine. Thing is, it actually took years to discover *who* made those incredible bottle trees. When I finally found her bottle tree Web site, I was struck by its delicious bright and organic palette. Bravo. --Erika, Madison, Wis.

By Erika Kachama-Nkoy on Oct 18, 2009 - 07:45 PM

Thanks, Erika! I really appreciate it. Stephanie’s awesome, and watching her bottle trees evolve is so enjoyable. I especially like the sconces.

By Darren on Oct 28, 2009 - 10:24 PM

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