“Everything After” a success, concludes this month; New work


Our two person show, “Everything After,” at R. Pela Contemporary Art in Phoenix, AZ went very well, and there are still a few days to see it by appointment if you missed it! See the gallery site for contact info to schedule a viewing:


The gallery is moving to a new location for its fall 2015 season. Watch the site and/or my blog for info on that!

I sold roughly half of the thriftstore makeovers and small framed drawings, so far! Comments from viewers were delightful, with many people remarking that there were different possible ‘meanings,’ and yet people obviously just enjoyed the wackiness, too. Also appreciated, were comments that my techniques were ‘seamless’ in blending the alterations with the existing reprint. Of course, most knew that Monet never painted Bigfoot on one of his famous bridges, but it was nice to hear that upon seeing my version, they felt it ‘belonged’ there all along.

We also got some nice press coverage! Besides reviews, we were included in a number of the “must see” shows lists that circulated before the art walks this month. Here are a few:






Suspicious Chick, Acrylic on panel, 6×6 in., Cindy Schnackel

I got some matte acrylic paints from Dick Blick here in Tempe, and painted this little chick yesterday. They are interesting, and different to work with, and I think I’ll like them for more bold, graphic type work. Not sure yet if they’ll become a staple for me, I’ve just started using them, and they won’t replace my beloved Golden fluid acrylics.


That Quarantined Family, Cindy Schnackel

A piece I planned on including in “Everything After,” but there wasn’t time to finish it. I finished it over the last weekend. The ‘house’ frame is roughly 20 x 20 inches, and made of plastic. It was painted dark brown all over. I cut a piece of mat board to fit the back, drew the outlines of the windows, and created the monsters with fluid acrylics, colored pencils, and ink. I also enhanced the frame a little with some paint, to bring out the detail.

As I worked on the monsters it seemed they began to look diseased. They had spots and hairs all over. I decided they looked like a big sick family who was quarantined in their kind of haunted looking old house.  They’d be the talk of the block. And yet, they were perfectly content. The family has many diverse characters, perhaps some that are pets, not sure. The head of the household happily greets an unwary visitor. You may see a different story; feel free to share it here!


Show update, ceramics, Petcasso


“Bullies,” acrylic on thriftstore reprint, 17 x 20 in.


Show Update

The opening reception at R. Pela Contemporary Art went well! I saw lots of familiar faces and met some new ones. Sold around 20 pieces so far, including some of the thriftstore makeovers, and also quite a few small drawings. It was good to meet Jared and talk to him about his art, too.

Art Detour weekend, we stopped by with my family during the day so they could see it, then hit a friend’s show before heading home. We had originally planned to come back Sunday on the train and really see Roosevelt Row’s shows, and Grand Avenue’s galleries, too. But, we had a sick pet that weekend who needed our attention so we stayed in. I’m glad to report he’s doing a bit better now. Geriatric pets have the same ailments older people do. I am sorry we didn’t get to see much of the art event. I will try to catch up as I can thru the month of March before shows come down.

The show will open a 2nd time on Friday, March 20, at 6 pm.  This may be the last show at this location, 335 W. McDowell, as R. Pela is looking for a new location and may be in it as soon as April this year!

Gallery site for more info: http://rpelagallery.com/


Bisque fired bird heads, half inch to about 1 and a half in. tall.


Bisqued and coated with various glazes, ready for glaze firing, a bird head and breasted torso, about 2 in. tall.


Hollow Chicken, about 7 in. tall, glazed.


Higher, shallow, and with more texture to prevent slipping, hopefully these will be better dishes for our handicapped bird.


Lidded ceramic box creature, about 6 in. high


Creature trio. Foreground, “Ghost,” background 2 as yet untitled monsters. By Cindy Schnackel. Vary from 2 in. high to 8 in. long.



Most things from this spring’s handbuilding class are out of the kiln now! New classes start soon, and there will probably be a few pieces that aren’t fired until then.  I was pleased with everything so far except the glaze on the hollow chicken. No one really was thrilled with that glaze firing where it seemed most things came out gray or mauve. I reglazed the chicken with Snow White. Debated whether to go white or black, and now wish I’d gone black. I think Satin Black would’ve combated the mauve better. The Snow White didn’t. A 3rd glazing would probably obscure way too much detail, if it was advisable at all, so I’ll just leave well enough alone and make more chickens. For those who like mauve, this might be the perfect piece!

The lidded box creature was coated with iron oxide after it was bisque fired, sponging some off and leaving it in the depressions. Then the whole thing was dipped in Snow White.

Snow White glaze did well on everything else where I used it, including a white clay creature, which had ONLY white glaze, as I thought it looked ghostly. The Ghost was made from white clay scraps from the strainer in the sink. Some were probably stoneware but some were porcelain, (all cone 10 clays in our class). The larger creature in the Creature Trio pic is about 4 in. high x 8 in. long, and has udders, teeth, but no eyes.



Metal cut out cat by Misty Mulleneaux, painting by Cindy Schnackel, PETCASSO 2015

This is the 2nd time I donated a bit of my time and paint to the AZ Human Society’s fundraiser, Petcasso, for the animal shelter. Misty Mulleneaux did the metal cut out shapes which are about 20 in. high. Various artists painted them. This is my contribution. I titled it, “All the mice I’ve loved before.”

AZ Humane Society Petcasso 2015 page: http://www.azhumane.org/cwf/petcasso-collection/

Delivered to show; Ceramic update


Several thriftstore makeovers and a display board of bottlecap birds await loading for show

My Studio’s looking kind of empty! Yesterday, my husband and I loaded the car with 19 thriftstore makeovers ranging from miniature to almost didn’t fit in the car size, plus 30-some other (non thriftstore related) small pieces,  and over 50 bird paintings on bottle caps, and delivered it to R. Pela gallery! Every piece is either recycled or small, so they’re a great value and something for every budget. I hope that we get lots of traffic thru Art Detour weekend. This event is prime time to be be in a gallery in downtown Phoenix.

Everything After show

R. Pela Contemporary Art

335 W. McDowell

Phoenix, AZ

Opening reception, Friday March 6, 6 pm; 3rd Friday reception, March 20, 6 pm

Extended weekend hours during Art Detour event, March 7-8

Gallery site: http://rpelagallery.com/





Two of a few bird heads and figures, bisque fired

While the class winds down and it makes less sense to start involved projects, I sat and pinched a few bird and monster shapes, really small pieces, that would dry pretty fast and be fired before the last class. Or at least, by the last pick up day. Above, the chicken head is about 2″, the smaller is less than an inch. These are bisque fired now. I’m not sure what I’ll do with them. It may or may not be a glaze finish. Depending on what they get incorporated into in the future, I’ll finish them to go with whatever that piece calls for. There are more coming, including one with a torso.


Slab construction, iron oxide under Snow White glaze

I really liked the way this came out! It was slab construction with added features. It’s a sort of pooched out box shape, and the lid fits nicely. The clay is probably LB Blend, however I did ‘recycle’ some of our clay so it could be partly Rod’s Bod or Soldate 60, maybe even some unidentified cone 10 scraps from the sink, but mostly LB blend.

I put iron oxide on it after it was bisque fired, wiped some off, and dipped it good in Snow White glaze. It came out as I ‘hoped,’ however, I try not to hope or expect too much, and just enjoy the surprises, usually. All that’s left is to take some wet/dry sandpaper and smooth the bottoms of his feet, (or attach felt dots), so he won’t scratch surfaces he’s set on. I’m considering this one a ‘he’ because it has no udders this time.


Greenware stage

The lidded box creature at the greenware stage. Note the blobular starfish like creature, too.


An array of pieces in bisque and glazeware stages

And there’s the blobular starfish thing glazed. Believe it or not, that glaze is called purple haze. It rarely seems to turn out purple, but we all keep trying! The bird heads, some creatures you’ve seen and some you haven’t, bowls, and in the foreground are some pieces I pressed a texture into and used to test glazes. The clay on the test pieces is all LB Blend or similar stoneware, always cone 10 as that is all we do in this class. The glazes are from left to right:

Two toned rectangle w/flower imprint: “Purple Haze” (have yet to see purple with this glaze!)

Rectangle w/subtle texture: Snow White (so far a very reliable glaze)

Paisley imprinted rectangle top row: iron oxide wiped partially off, Snow White glaze (loved this!)

Medallion imprint on square w/lifted corners, top row: Caramel, 2 coats (liked this a lot, too)

Round medallion imprint, Stoneware Blue (another I like a lot, did a lot of bowls with it last year)

Rimmed rectangle lower right, Cranberry, another unpredictable glaze, definitely didn’t come out red at all, even though it was quite thick. At the right angle you can see the glaze ‘crazed,’ (crackled). My husband did some bowls last year that got fairly red with this glaze.

The lone white figure in all this is recycled clay from the sink strainer, ewww! I collected most of it the first night the teacher demonstrated wheel throwing and she was working with porcelain, so this is a mix of cone 10 porcelain and probably some white cone 10 stoneware. It is bisque fired in this pic. It does feel very smooth. I dipped it in Snow White, because I think it looks like a ghost. We will see how that comes out, should be out of the glaze firing in about a week, I hope.

In the background the long tube shaped creature has only legs and a mouth with teeth. No eyes. I had plans for him that didn’t pan out as I ran out of time to enter it in a current show. So, I dipped him in Hunter Green on top, Spodumene on the bottom, and made his lips Cherie Jade, and his teeth Snow White. He is awaiting glaze firing as a few other things.

Another thing I’ve been making is pet dishes for a handicapped cockatiel. He needs them to be high, not too slick inside, and not too deep. So the lumpy dishes in the background are for him. (All the glazes are food safe.)




I did a glaze test on this anyway, which also didn’t come out fantastic.


Blowout! Teapot didn’t survive bisque firing.

There seems to be no reason this particular piece was risky. It was slab and coil, very well pressed together, but somehow, maybe because we’d had a lot of rain, there must have been moisture trapped in there when it was bisque fired. There were lots of other shards, (fortunately, they said it didn’t wreck anyone else’s work). I kept the legs, top and lid, in case I want to do something with them. I did do a glaze test on the top parts, and that was kind of disappointing, too!

One of my hollow chickens made it fine thru both bisque and glaze firing, no breakage. However, the glaze was the same firing as the teapot and a disappointment. I redipped the chicken in Snow White, so we will see what happens now. The bad glaze was just not right for the piece. Too busy, too uninteresting, and detracted from the shape and detail. I’m hoping that a simple all over white glaze will bring her back. It can’t likely hurt!

To see pics of the ceramic pieces at an earlier stage, see this post: https://cindyschnackel.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/shows-new-products-new-ceramics-mostly-chickens-so-far/