Sponge grew up in Tennessee and received his BFA from Birmingham Southern College. I grew up in New Jersey and received my BFA from Philadelphia College of Art. In 1983, we met in a painting class in the graduate program at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn New York. Sponge was a Printmaking Major with a Painting Minor and I was a Painting Major with a Printmaking Minor.
We began working together almost immediately and a wonderful friendship grew into a life long romance. In 1985, after completing our MFAs, we shared our joy with friends and family on a sunny Saturday in October. Sponge worked as the Art Director for Pearl Paint in Manhattan and taught Printmaking at NYU. I worked as the production manager for a jewelry designer and artist in Tribecca.
Shortly after, we started D.W. Possum Designs. In the early days, our love of animals and nature lead our work to focus on endangered species, fish and marine mammals. And then, we painted 1 black lab, just 1 and the rest, as they say, is history. Over the years, we have sold at nationally juried shows, pet industry trade shows and AKC dog shows. In 1993 we were invited to produce angel ornaments for the First Family’s Christmas tree. Our work remains in the permanent collection of the White House.
Currently, we produce items in over 130 breeds with more adding all the time. Every item we sell is individually produced with care and attention to detail in our studio in Barnegat Light, New Jersey. Over the years, we were encouraged to out source our products over seas and we resisted. We believe in the strength and integrity of American Craftspeople and made the decision to keep our work at home even if it kept us small. Our work has been sold in over 40 states, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.
Out of the studio, Sponge is the Pipe Major for The Ocean County Emerald Society Pipes and Drums Band. He is the Captain of the Barnegat Light Volunteer Fire Company and an active EMT with the Barnegat Light First Aide Squad.
And yes, we have always had dogs. Sponge grew up with Standard Schnauzers, I grew up with Mini Schnauzers and a Golden Retriever named Rapunzel. In our life together, we have had mixed breed rescues and Boston Terriers. At present our lives are under the spell of our rescued Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Jamie (short for Jameson, like the whiskey). and his baby sister Tulla (short for Tullamore Dew, yes, another Irish whiskey)They are confident that with a little more work, they will have us trained perfectly!