Most of my artist photo shoots last 2-3 hours, but when I started talking with Bill Schwob about his intricate and fascinating six-foot-tall sculptures, it was clear this was going to be different. Bill is a life-long artist and a professional photographer. He got interested in wood-fired ceramics while visiting Japan in the 1990s. Bill creates his humanoid sculptures in a slow, meticulous process. He builds as high as he can in his studio (up to the ceiling) and then carefully cuts the clay into sections, sets the top piece down at floor level, and starts to build toward the ceiling again. The pieces are fired in an anagama kiln on Cobb Mountain in Northern California, and then brought back to the studio to be assembled and finished.
Bill's work shows an incredible mastery of the human form and a haunting mood of mystery and decay. The photo sessions with Bill took place over the course of about six months in 2023.