Pottery and Plein Air

“Woodland Pitcher” by Renee Schwaller.

Off the Wheel Pottery owner Renee Schwaller and nationally known plein air and studio painter Tom Nachreiner will be the featured speakers at the Door County Art League’s July 27 meeting.

As a child Schwaller experimented with pencil and ink drawing, but was always drawn to forming objects with her hands. Most of her ceramic pieces are formed on a potter’s wheel with white stoneware or porcelain. “After the clay has dried to the leather-stage, I brush on an underglaze or slip. I then draw out a design with a very small carving tool and scrape the background away – creating a look similar to a wood cut or linoleum cut,” said Schwaller. “This technique is called sgraffito, an Italian word meaning ‘to scratch.’”

Nachreiner has been a self-employed artist since 1978, first as a nationally known illustrator and more recently as a fine artist engaged in plein air and studio paintings for galleries. He paints mostly on location or from life in his studio. His goal is to capture the mood of a moment, and to “celebrate the freshness of oil paint in aggressive, confident brushwork, trying not to fuss over the small detail, rather, to capture primarily the form, mood and light, with a strong and dynamic design I instinctively build into each composition.”

The DCAL meeting will be held at Hope United Church of Christ, 141 South 12th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay beginning at 7 pm. The public is encouraged to attend. For more information visit