“Gracie,” a ceramic piece by Keith Schneider. (Courtesy of the artist)
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Ceramic artist Keith Schneider is the newest artist to join the Arcata Artisans cooperative gallery. His work, as well as jewelry by member Kris Patzlaff, is being featured in November at the gallery, 883 H St. in Arcata. An Arts! Arcata reception is set for tonight from 6 to 9 p.m.

Patzlaff says about her jewelry: “All my work is fabricated from sheet and wire. The texture on the metal uses a technique called rollerprinting. … Using this technique I create all the pieces and parts of the textured metal. In my drawing process, I first identify the overall shape and then fill in the area with ‘automatic writing.’ Images that are drawn are a spontaneous process that is not predetermined.”

The 24-karat gold that is incorporated on the surface uses a technique called Keumboo, she said. Thin gold is applied to the surface of the silver and heated to fuse it.

Patzlaff is now retired from working as the head of the Jewelry and Small Metals Program at Humboldt State University. She has been working in metal for over 35 years, in both large- and small-scale format. Her jewelry has been exhibited internationally and has appeared in numerous publications. In 2002, she completed a large-scale public art piece titled “The Fence.” Completed entirely from materials pulled from the waste stream, this 750-foot fence surrounds the Humboldt Waste Management Authority transfer station in Eureka.

Shell and silver jewelry by Kris Patzlaff. (Courtesy of the artist)

Patzlaff’s three-dimensional work includes box collage constructions that incorporate found and collected objects. These mixed media works are inspired by her interest in “memorial art” and how today’s culture deals with loss. Although these works may be considered personal in nature, they encourage the viewer to find associations with the objects that provoke their own memories.

Schneider is a ceramic artist and art professor who lives and works in Arcata. He has been teaching ceramics and drawing at Humboldt State University since 1987. His ceramic figures are exhibited throughout the United States and he has won numerous awards for his ceramics as well as his two-dimensional work. His artwork has been featured in a variety of publications, including Ceramics Monthly and Ceramics Now. His work is in several notable collections such as the De Young Museum, San Francisco and the Crocker Museum in Sacramento.

“For many years, I have been attracted to objects that ‘wear’ their history, and have collected these things as inspiration for my ceramic pieces, and to use in my collages and assemblages,” he said. “… In my ceramic work, inspired by things I have scavenged, I often invent my own ‘found’ objects and materials.

His pieces are constructed from earthenware clay and fired to cone 03. Surface color is developed with underglazes, glazes, stains and sometimes lusters.

“I often begin my pieces with a wide variety of wheel-thrown forms and put them together in combination with other elements: sometimes extruded pieces, sometimes press-molded or hand built,” he said. “During this process I try not to be too cerebral, but instead attempt to react directly to what is visually in front of me and trust my instincts. Often as I am working these pieces take on a life of their own and it is interesting to me that some of my characters seem anxious and overwhelmed, some worried and perplexed, some quizzical and amused. As I live with these characters, I believe they speak to me about myself.”

 

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