Artist Susan Von Freddi is many things to many people. In the high-stakes world of Hamptons real estate, she is an acknowledged leader in the field with a successful track record of over three decades of experience serving the Hamptons community.
In her hometown of Hampton Bays, she is recognized as a dynamic community leader, who has led the effort for the beautification of the hamlet’s downtown business district.
To her many fans, collectors across the country and her fellow colleagues, she is a praised as a brilliant artist working in one the most difficult and volatile media imaginable – glass.
“ I have been a real estate broker for thirty-nine years and a founding partner of in Hampton Bays since 1973."
Von Freddi also spearheaded an effort to organize the many small local real estate offices to create a larger network that would aid all, and in 1996, she co-founded the Hamptons and North Fork Board of Realtors. She has served as president for several years. Von Freddi also served as a director for the New York State Association of Realtors.
Von Freddi is also currently a member of the Suffolk County Downtown Advisory Board, which assists the county in awarding grants to improve downtown areas. Recently Hampton Bays was the recipient of $84,000 towards the Vince Cannuscio Memorial Trail that is nearly complete.
Beautifying Our Streets
Von Freddi has been a member of the since its inception in 1985.
Von Freddi recalled a 1995 article in the New York Times headlined “The Forgotten Hampton--Feeling Forgotten in Hampton Bays", which stated "the town was in desperate need of a face lift and a better image."
“That article had a very deep impact on the residents who were angered (mainly at themselves) for allowing this perception to arise. We were all faced with the awful truth," she said.
It was then she vowed to restore community pride.
Von Freddi served as vice president of the organization in 1997 and became president in 2009.
Hooked on Glass
Von Freddi said her first exposure to her art was in a night course at Hampton Bays High School on Tiffany glass. Her next step was to take a class at Urban Glass Studio in Brooklyn, where she learned to fuse glass.
Recently, Von Freddi has expanded to the centuries-old process of Murrine glass making, which uses multi-colored glass rods, formed from a block, placed to a pre-arranged design and then melted together in a kiln. Von Freddi said the intricate process requires split second timing.
She has exhibited her one-of-a-kind treasures in the Robert Lehman Gallery in Brooklyn; Studio Arts Gallery in Laguna Beach, California; the Blue Door Gallery in Riverhead, which recently closed; and several years ago at the Southampton Library.
Von Freddi laments the scarcity of galleries that show glass: “I would love to hear from any store or gallery interested in having my work on consignment," she said.
Her creations have brought her admirers from across the country.
Von Freddi's work can be seen at George Dalecki’s store Seatuck Stained Glass, 490 Montauk Highway, Eastport; during the summer, she displays pieces in the gift shop at the Hampton Maid Motel on Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays. For the most part, she sells directly from her home studio or her website. Prices start at $39.
When Von Freddi is not stretching and weaving long tubes of glass or showing a waterfront home to a family, she can usually be found on Passport, a sailboat she and her husband Robert own.
Or on the beach: “My favorite is Ponquogue Beach, because it is so beautiful, and I can take really long walks. I just love the sound of the crashing waves. It is very relaxing," she said.