PaperCity Magazine

July/August 2019- Dallas

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78 DALLAS ARTIST PAUL SCHNEIDER'S COVETED GLAZED LAMPS BEGIN WITH DRIPS, LUSTERS, AND PRECIOUS METALS. STUDIO VISIT T he outside world c e a s e s t o e x i s t w h e n c e r a m i c i s t P a u l S c h n e i d e r is at his potter's wheel. "It's a form of meditation," he says. "You can't think about anything else. You've got to be totally focused. Even my breathing changes and becomes very controlled." In his practiced hands, a spinning lump of wet clay slowly takes shape as a sculptural vessel; apply too much pressure, he says, and the thin walls collapse. It takes years to master the skills required to create pottery at the level he has achieved. As a young teenager at St. Mark's School of Texas, Schneider took ceramics classes and learned to produce delicate Japanese raku ware. His talent was evident early on. After just a few years at the wheel, he was earning accolades at national juried shows. As a freshman at Rhodes College in Memphis, where he played baseball and majored in international studies, he began selling his raku pieces at Forty Five Ten in Dallas; the late pop star George Michael was the first to buy one. Neiman Marcus and Mecox soon picked up his collections of bowls and vases, and by 2009, his career as a full-time ceramic artist was blossoming. Schneider's big break came in 2013, when he received a commission to make 20 custom lamps — many decorated in precious gold glazing — for the lavish interiors of a wide- body 747 jet belonging to the Emir of Kuwait. The large, prestigious order kick-started his courage to take lamps to that year's Architectural Digest Home Show in New York City. The bid paid off. Margaret Russell, who was then editor in chief of AD, took notice and profiled his work in the magazine. "The article helped validate my work and opened so many more doors," he says. His pottery lamps, from $920 to $2,600 each, are sought by top interior designers as Jean-Louis Deniot, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Jamie Drake, Barrie Benson, and Michelle Nussbaumer, and his collections are currently sold in more than a dozen stylish boutiques around the country, including Mecox in Dallas and Longoria Collection in Houston. They're also available at select Kravet showrooms and online via the artist's own website and Curated Kravet. Schneider recently added colorful glazed ceramic trays to the lineup, but table lamps remain a signature. There are 17 classic lamp shapes, five base options, and a library of more than 400 glazes, including gold and platinum lusters made with precious metals. His glazes are formulated in- house, and it's those exquisite hues that make his lamps so coveted. To get such nuanced, rich colors to fire properly in the kiln, Schneider has studied how different chemicals react together under different levels of BY REBECCA SHERMAN. PHOTOGRAPHY ALLISON V. SMITH. Ceramicist Paul Schneider in his studio

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