Kate Schaffner - Bio



After being told by an art professor in 1976 that a degree in the studio arts was not something she should consider, Kate went on to pursue a degree in Psychology. Unable to shake her desire to create, Kate returned to school for a brief period in 1983, where she studied welding with sculptor Jim O'Hara at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona.

After moving to Sonoma County, CA, in 2010 she was able to reconnect with welding. It was with the help of her kind neighbor, who loaned her his oxy/acetylene tanks and welding equipment, that she got started. He gave her some scrap steel and some pointers to get her on her way. Shortly there after, she connected with Sonoma Sculptor, John O'Hare. He served as Kate's mentor and provided invaluable guidance in her journey. Another Sonoma Sculptor, Frank Schueler, has generously contributed both knowledge and support.

A great influence in Kate's work are horses. They have been a part of Kate's life since the age of 7. She grew up riding and competing at shows in the Hunter Division in Southern California. When she moved to Sebastopol, she became involved with a non-profit horse rescue called The Sonoma CHANGE Program. It was from her work with this group that she was exposed to the tragic situations that befall horses. Neglect, starvation, abandonment and acts of cruelty in the form of horse tripping were profoundly disturbing to Kate. These cases inspire much of her work, but she also enjoys creating other horses and animals that are more playful in nature.

All of her work involves found and recycled objects.