crash - cindy raschke at work on a cool bike

crashing a guitar at Austin LoneStar Round up


"Crash" Texas Guitar

About Crash........"Crash" With Leather Jacket

Having a last name like "Raschke", Cindy decided to create a more memorable and easier name for people to spell.  She and her buddy Cameron came up with Crash.  So when you hear people talk about "Crashed" art, you know who they are talking about.


06:50 PM CST on Wednesday, October 29, 2003

By KIRI HENDERSON / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

AUSTIN – If Cindy Crowe Raschke had her druthers, you'd be hard-pressed to find a bare wall, car, jacket or shoe in the city of Austin. Or the entire Western Hemisphere, for that matter.

Ms. Raschke dreams daily of the hundreds of different surfaces she would love to camouflage, including custom painting an entire hotel or perhaps a fleet of planes. But for now, the designer-artist will have to make do with her own SUV and the treasures she unearths from vintage and thrift stores and transforms into works of wearable art.

Born in 1967 and raised in East Austin, Ms. Raschke's compulsion to paint began at an early age, when she found herself unable to part with homework until she had purged the page of all blank space. Always looking for a theme, Ms. Raschke would embellish science homework with images of flora and fauna, microscopes and experiments. "I could draw before I could spell or read," she says.

Seeking to make her belongings unique, as well, she soon expanded her efforts to clothing and furniture. Friends and family took note and began bringing Ms. Raschke items – vintage leather jackets, purses, even lawn furniture – to embellish. She earned enough to put herself through school, graduating from the University of Texas in 1990 with a bachelor of fine arts degree.

Though each of her pieces is one-of-a-kind, Ms. Raschke now sells to a few Austin stores, including Creatures (both the South First and North Loop locations) and Architerra in the Austin Design Center.

You can also purchase her creations online at Austin based www.HouseOSpeed.com.  Here you will find her newest items inspired by her love of horror films, hot rods and all things tiki. 

Ms. Raschke uses a variety of paints – acrylics, car paints, glow-in-the-dark reflectives – and can spend anywhere from a few minutes to several days on an item. The average leather jacket requires six to eight hours, she estimates. "I work really fast. It just depends on how many layers of paint I have to coat to get the colors strong enough."

In addition to the pieces she creates on her own, she also does custom work. Some clients come with their own ideas. Others let Ms. Raschke run free. She considers the shape and personality of the item, as well as its owner, before deciding on a visual theme.

Motifs range from the macabre to the ethereal. A collection of vintage vinyl purses featuring Hawaiian landscapes is among her personal faves. For Stephen King fans, a bubble-gum-pink bomber jacket is contrasted with Ms. Raschke's alarming version of a circus – scary clown and all.

Hawaiian, horror, landscape or portrait, all Ms. Raschke's designs invite a fanciful escapism. They also allow their owners to share some of their individuality with the world.

"There's nothing I like better than when people find something in their closet that they just can't stand, and I transform it into something they really love. It's like shopping without actually having to shop."

Ms. Raschke can be reached at crash@cindyraschke.com.

Kiri Henderson is a San Francisco freelance writer.






All Artwork Copyrighted By Artist.  Any Use Prohibited Without Expressed Written Permission.


© 2005, Cindy Raschke. All Rights Reserved