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Innovative Artisans

The Artists

Al Schoepp & Louise McBeath Schoepp

Al is a pilot with a passion for metalwork, including sandcasting of aluminum, cast iron, bronze and most recently he and his wife Louise have been working with lead-free pewter. He has produced industrial metal pieces in the past but much prefers the artistic side of metalwork and has also experimented with stained glass.

Louise is a registered nurse with a background in Zoology and is originally from Scotland. She was introduced to metalwork through Al, although she has always had a creative flair, drawing and creating miniatures from coloured polymer clay, and giving them as gifts to family and friends.

“Together we create innovative pieces from molten Lead-free Pewter which is a beautiful tin alloy. The main items in our portfolio are unique free-form decorative pewter bowls. Due to our technique that we use to create our bowls, each one is different. Pewter has a lower melting point than many other metals. It does not tarnish, has a lovely silvery colour and can have a brilliant shine. We chose to work with pewter for these very reasons. We achieve different finishes by changing variables such as temperature and casting technique, which have evolved through our own trial and error. We also create miniatures to enhance our bowls, some of which are also available as standalone pieces. We make these by pouring molten pewter into our silicone moulds.

Our original patterns for casting are first designed and carved in polymer clay or wax by Louise. Our inspiration for our patterns comes from Louise’s love of nature and all things tiny. A silicone mould “negative” is then made by Al using this pattern, and molten pewter is poured into the mould. Once cooled, the pieces can be hand finished by sanding and polishing if necessary, or incorporated into one of our decorative bowls. Finally, each piece is hand engraved by Louise with “Handmade in Alberta, Canada by Innovative Artisans”, the year it was created and the name of the design if applicable, with the exception of our very small miniatures. A personal message can also be engraved by Louise on the shiny side of our bowls, and sometimes she will embellish them with a pictorial engraving. We truly have a creative partnership, as one of us could not do this without the contribution of the other.

Examples of our pieces include pewter bowls of various designs and sizes, with or without decoration, also coasters, miniatures and ornaments. In future, we would like to explore free-form sand casting of molten pewter, and incorporating other media into our pewter, such as polished stones, stained glass and other metals.

We live with our little daughter Kayleigh on an acreage near Warburg, Alberta.”

Louise and Al conceived their idea of “Innovative Artisans” several years ago, experimenting with various media and techniques. In August 2013 they first began creating, showing and selling their pewter art, their debut show being the Metal Art and Craft show at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum, Wetaskiwin in September 2013, followed by an art gala in their local village of Warburg. Since then, their pewter work has been accepted to sell in two Alberta galleries and they are current members of Alberta Craft Council. Recently they took part in the Make It! Edmonton Spring show which is their largest show to date. Neither Louise nor Al have any formal design training.

 Their Art

Different Strokes Art Gallery is privileged to feature Innovative Artisans’ work. Interested buyers may obtain further information at the Gallery, by phone at 403.556.2233 or email differentstrokes@live.ca

Find the Gallery

5010 – 50th Avenue Olds, Alberta 403.556.2233 differentstrokes@live.ca

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What’s Different about Different Strokes?

Different Strokes Art Gallery is committed to broadening the confines of what individuals think of when they hear the term "Gallery". We believe that art is not necessarily meant to be quiet and passive - a gallery should have the same passion for its exhibited artworks that the artists have for their own work. Different Strokes exhibits all forms of art by artists and artisans, mainly from Alberta, focusing on the artist and not just the art work. We welcome all art lovers to come in, be our guest, and appreciate the many different shapes, forms and sizes that art can take.

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