June 2013: Jeff Schnabel & Jill Torberson

Jeff Schnabel has studied art, architecture and landscape architecture. Through his encaustic work he has been able to employ principals found in each discipline. His approach to encaustic is to apply it in very thick layers and then scrape it away like an archaeological dig, exposing the work that had been put down earlier. There is almost no brushwork in his pieces. Instead knives and dental tools are used to manipulate the wax. He remains fascinated with the power of the line as a single object or combined to suggest both human and natural patterns. When found objects are incorporated into the work, they are almost always steel, balancing the cold metal with the warmth of the bees wax. His current work layers wax and found objects on both sides of acrylic panels. This allows light to penetrate from behind the work creating new levels of depth. In addition to his encaustic work, Jeff is a professor of architecture at Portland State University’s College of the Arts.

Jill Torberson is a sculptor specializing in metal arts, including welding and blacksmithing. She creates artistic steel fabrications. Jill will be presenting welded abstract forms using steel rods, flat bar and found steel that relates to the theme of  “line”.  She considers this her “line” work: drawing lines with steel.  Sometimes this takes the form of towers, tumbleweed-like balls or basket shapes forms.  She’s fascinated with creating spatial mass, without the notion of weight as implied by the nature of the material. Though a variety of her work is freestanding; some are wall hung. She also creates mixed media wall sculpture. Some of her wall-hung pieces use sheets of metal with found objects. Jill is an adjunct faculty member at Portland State University. She works in the School of Architecture