A recent trip to Sonoma County for the annual Art at the Source Open Studios turned up a never-ending list of delights. First, there was a yummy breakfast of french-folded eggs with toast and blackberry jam at Willow Wood Market in Graton. Then, the art-filled day began with a visit to the lovely studio & gallery of Frank & Pat Schueler in Sebastopol. Frank Schueler, a sculptor and his wife, Pat, a mosaic artist opened their doors to the public and everyone who came through commented on ‘what a find’ it is. Frank’s work in metals and woods reminds me of artwork that might adorn Roger Sterling’s office on the set of Mad Men.
Pat Schueler began working with mosaics around four years ago after taking a class from a local artist, and she was hooked. She started combing local thrift stores for interesting pieces of ceramic to use in her art, searching out bright colors and interesting patterns or ‘whatever catches my eye,’ she says. Her workshop is an organized assembly of plates, cups, saucers and variegated pieces in numerous stages of deconstruction that she’s found around Bay Area thrift stores or that friends have picked up for her. Pat’s mosaic bowling pin caught my eye, and I quickly snatched it up for our expanding bowling pin garden.
Kate Schaffner, a metal sculptor, who works in recycled materials that she finds at salvage yards, as well as found objects that she digs up on her property, then welds into metal animal shapes shows her passion for four-legged creatures. Kate shared two of her favorite North Bay salvage yards (M. Maselli’s and Bataeff’s) with me, and I’ve added them to my list to share with you (see new listings under Salvage Yards). Kate works with the organization CHANGE – Coins to Help Abandoned and Neglected Equines – that helps find foster families for horses who have been neglected or abused. Her piece Overworked – a metal sculpture of a horse with a gage permanently lodged at zero demonstrates with deep poignancy the joy and the heartbreak she finds working with these abused animals and how they inspire her art.
And, artist Tom Berto demonstrated how he creates his colorful and bright works of art and how he achieves a transparency in his work by airbrushing layers, creating an effect that cannot be achieved through other mediums. What a fun and delightful way to spend an afternoon. I can hardly wait for the next show in Sebastopol in October ~ Art at the Trails.
After drinking in all that great art, I felt inspired, so I followed one of Pat Schueler’s thrift store recommendations and hit the St. Vincent de Paul Store in Rohnert Park and the Goodwill in Sebastopol (see new listings under North Bay Thrift Stores). Having just seen the way metal objects can be used in so many interesting ways, a piece of metal caught my eye in the housewares section of St. Vinnie’s. The shape of the piece resembled a crown, so I bought it for $5 and placed it on top of a piece of statuary in our backyard, giving our backyard angel a somewhat royal look. It’s so wonderful how having an artful afternoon and talking with artists can bring out our own inner artist. Had I not just spent a few hours in the company of creative people looking at objects in a unique way, I may have just overlooked this little gem at the thrift store and not seen it as a possible adornment. Art at the Source, indeed.Art at the Source Sponsored by the Sebastopol Center for the Arts 6780 Depot Street Sebastopol CA 95472 (707) 829-4797 [email protected] Frank Schueler Sculpture & Pat Schueler Mosaics (77) 829-5313 Kate Schaffner, Metal Sculpture (925) 260-3980 CHANGE Coins to Help Abandoned & Neglected Equines PO Box 64 Vineburg, CA 95487 (707) 570-7050 email: [email protected]