Everyone loves a self-starter–a wide-eyed visionary who transforms dreams into reality.
Patrick Schmidt comes quickly to mind, immersed in his universe of mult-media explorations but always reaching out to an “international” community of creative spirits.
Here’s how he describes himself:
“I’m a tinkerer, artist, scientist, crafter, and many other things. I do small sculpturing and a lot of millefiori technique with polymer clay.”
An admitted “drop-out” from academia, Patrick once pursued a degree in Electrical Engineering at one of Germany’s elite educational sanctuaries. Add oceanic expeditions to the mix of his science-centered journeys, and one is confounded by a sudden career shift.
Perhaps, Patrick’s mother, a clay artist, influenced him to follow his heart…..and soul? (Ironically, Patrick and I jammed, playing “Heart and Soul” at a recent Meet-up in Berkeley that fleshed out his passion for “improvisation–feeding still another creative undertaking)
Schmidt grew up in the “countryside” between Bremen and Hamburg, the son of an American citizen, school teacher. His childhood appeared serene as it was nourished by intellectual and artistic exposure.
After emigrating to the East Bay, San Francisco, Patrick ignited a new-found creative arts journey, stacking project upon project within an awesome, reverberant Solano space. (Freely donated, it welcomes voluntary contributions).
In short order, TWO of of Patrick’s Meet-ups were born in this Open Fine Art Gallery, 1861 Solano Avenue A, Berkeley, CA, and one, bearing his hand print, happens to be the “East Bay International Creative Community.” The other, “Berkeley Piano Improvisation,” convenes each Tuesday with a mix of amateurs and professionals.
Since pictures are worth a thousand words, photos taken by Patrick at the most recent Solano-based “Meet-up” gathering reveal a unique ambiance of artistic expression in diverse forms:
The exhibiting artists, including Schmidt, offered nicely framed and unframed multi-media creations. (Even a toy piano made a prominent appearance among paintings, decorative necklaces, and more.) The gallery represents artists from Iran, Japan, Colombia, all over the Bay Area. They work in mixed media, oil, acrylic, collage, and polymer clay.
Schmidt idealizes this space as a font of education and artistic expression. His own millefiori technique is taught and showcased by him.
He explained the process: “Millefiori is an ancient art form that allows an artist to create patterns with a lot of detail. The technique involves a prototype being formed out of clay and shrunken down by pushing and pulling it into a long ‘cane’ or sausage shape. This cane is then cut into many thin slices; each slice shows the initial design with all its details intact. Depending on the final steps, these pieces can be made into all kinds of jewelry, ornaments, board game figures…”
Springing to life are his artful representations of DNA, RNA, and other biological strands.
Finally, Meet-up photos from the most recent Monthly Potluck, display vital “connections” forged within a cultural community that’s growing in size and stature thanks to Patrick’s efforts.