The Tale of the Kitchen Aid Clay Tool Some work is notablefor the excellence of form or the particular shade of color achieved in the firing, and sometimes these fine qualities are surpassed by a good story. This tall faceted bottle started on my wheel in the usual way. It is a two part vessel, a demo I do fairly regularly, where the base cylinder is thrown and set aside and a subsequent cylinder is thrown, opened down to the bat below. The second cylinder is flipped over and joined to the first via a tongue and groove joint. The bat is cut off and I make pulls through the whole form, making a single homogeneous piece. I finished it off to be a bottle and then decided to alter it a little. I did not really like the first indention I made from top to bottom and tried three more to balance things out. I was still not super excited about the result, so I set it aside covered up to dry for a while waiting to trim the foot. In the meantime, I had been thinking it would be fun to do something faceted and I decided this tall bottle would be a good candidate. In my usual fashion, I started shopping in the kitchen for a suitable tool to use for faceting. It is common knowledge that the kitchen and bathroom are good places to search for clay tools disguised as everyday household objects. And wouldn't you know it, I found a clay faceting tool that also peels carrots! Off it went to the studio. It worked incredibly well. I had to sort of take it apart slightly for the best result, but golly it worked well. I took it home and put it away, no one the wiser. This is where things get a little sideways...fast forward a bit to Thanksgiving. My wife is preparing the veggies for our meal when she grabs a clay faceting tool and attempts to peel a carrot with it. "Attempts" is the key word here. The problem was that the faceter had not fully completed its' transformation back to a household kitchen tool. The blade had fallen off. This may have gone unnoticed, but my eagle eyed spouse saw what she claims was some clay on the handle (I am sure I washed it off!). I was confronted with the evidence and found guilty of misappropriation of household appliances in the first degree and sentenced to buying my own damn carrot peeler (clay faceting tool!). My second mistake was posting this interaction on Facebook. Apparently it is generally held that re-purposing kitchen implements without permission is not right. My only defense is that my creative nature makes me see clay tools in almost everything. My wife does appreciate how well this piece turned out and has encouraged me to make more like it. She even took me to Target to the clay tool aisle, and that Ladies and Gents is how I came to own an impressive faceting tool made by Kitchen Aid.
I was doing the dishes this evening and discovered that Pampered Chef has a line of clay tools...who would have guessed?
Stephen Bunyard Artist Bio Stephen Glenn Bunyard was born to be creative. His father is an Electrical Engineer who participated in pioneering work in the field of micro electronics beginning in the 60’s and a general wizard at doing "stuff" from working on hot rods to executing his wife's creative notions. His mother returned to University in her late 30s and earned a Bachelors Degree in Home Economics – Fashion Design. It was during the time of his mother’s work toward her degree that Stephen was introduced to ceramics. Too young to be left to his own designs, Stephen accompanied his Mom to the ceramics lab on many weekends during a ceramics course taught by Vern Funk. While this exposure did not result in any technical knowledge on his part, the enthusiasm for the medium was established. All of these experiences coupled with a very active imagination, love of learning and love of drawing things resulted in a tremendous creative output as a musician, cartoonist, and artist in his young life
Fast forward a few years and Stephen graduated from Texas Tech University School of Architecture and moved to Phoenix Arizona to pursue his career as an Architect. The training as an architect reinforced Stephen’s love for art and creativity. Working full time as an Architect, Stephen made time for his pastime as an artist creating images and gained some recognition as a photographer. Stephen’s Mom decided the time was right to gift her son with her wheel, a kiln, and her ceramics library. Stephen began working in clay, dividing his artistic time with photography. The old love was rekindled under the guidance of the resident artists at Phoenix Center for the Arts, first Seth Rainville, then Don Ridley.
Stephen has enjoyed success as a ceramic artist, participating in gallery shows at Phoenix Center for the Arts, The Shemer Art Museum, National Council on the Education for Ceramic Arts (NCECA) National Convention, The Bead Museum in Glendale, Chandler Center for the Arts, The Night Gallery, Art One Gallery and at the Peoria City Hall Art Gallery. Stephen has also been a guest artist on the Arizona State University Ceramic Research Center’s Studio tour since 2012. Stephen is a Juried Member of Arizona Art Alliance, An Artist Advisory Board Member of the ASU Ceramics Research Center, and President of AZ Clay Association.
Stephen’s Photography resume includes exhibitions at Art by Architects (Best of Show and three Jury Awards), Phoenix Center for the Arts and inclusion in the Photography magazines Best Photographers 1991.
Stephen's passions extend to other creative fields as well. Stephen is a musician and currently plays in the band, Safety Patrol. Safety Patrol is the brainchild of Stephen's longtime friend Don Cross, who made it his mission to bring safety messages to K-6th graders through music. Stephen plays the trumpet, bass, harmonica, tamborine, a mean cowbell (we all need more!) as well as lead and backing vocals. He even writes the occasional song for the group. Stephen's other loves are writing, glass blowing, working on his classic 1967 Mustang, and being a husband and father.