Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Instructor Introduction: Cathi Schwalbe-Bouzide

Please tell us a little about yourself; your name, background, education, and a fun fact or two.
Catherine Schwalbe-Bouzide
Recreation Therapist
Urban Poultry Keeper
Cat keeper
Gold fish in our outdoor pond my husband and I build for each other’s birthday several years ago.
Undergrad in Fine Art from UW Milwaukee – Sculpture Concentration
Graduate Coursework at Aurora University in Aurora.
Classes at Columbia College for the Book and Paper Arts and Lillstreet Art Center.

How long have you been working with clay and how did you get started?
I avoided clay most of my childhood and early adult hood thanks to an angry, venomous art teacher in grade school. We were gut rehabbing our house and I was looking at handmade tiles and said “I could do that myself!” so I did… at Lill Street Art Center on Lill Street. Clay is now the other man in my life!

What are your influences, both inside and outside of the clay world?
Influences are many – I read a lot. I talk to farmers. I look at farms. I grow. As a sculptor, I came to ceramics and knowledge of those grandparents of clay very late. I have enjoy and learn from seeing works of those on whose shoulders we stand, but also suffer from “Materials Deficit Disorder.” That is, I like to work with a variety of mediums. I have a clay studio at Lill and a mixed media studio at home. Making is making to me. I am working with a lot of beeswax now at home. Porcelain at the studio. It all keeps me from getting bored. I also look at open, unused spaces around the city as opportunities for growing/installation.

Do you sell your work? If so, how can one find it?
I do sell some. My studio is in #203 at Lillstreet Art Center. I have larger works at home – some are stored and rotate. Others I have out all the time. Illinois Artisan Centers around the state. Dancing Loon Gallery in Michigan City, IN. Give me a call. I would love a studio visit.

What advice can you give to students of the ceramic arts?
Take advantage of open studio hours here at Lill. Play. Find your way. Listen to your teacher. Listen to other teachers. Listen to other students. I continue to learn from all of them. Get out and look at other people’s work too. Go to workshops that are held by and for artists.

How do you spend your time when not working with clay?
Reading, making, cooking, w/good friends and family, seeing art, talking about art.

I am also a recreation therapist in long term care communities in a company of 12 amazing therapists. We go to over 150 places in the Chicago area and work for founder and president Dr. Susan Quattrochi-Tubin.

Any parting words?
Woefully out of date website:

Flickr casbah3d

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