The workshop is a place. The location changes from time to time. It is also a state of mind. And that never changes.
The iris has long been associated with spirituality and wisdom. Creativity is a sustaining force for us, and the iris represents our belief in the intrinsic goodness in trying to create things that are useful and beautiful.
Most photos of the workshop and many of Charlie's tables and paintings are by Karen Altpeter.
Iris Design Workshop is a wonderful place where
Charlie Simonds and Sher Schachameyer go to make things. Charlie works on woodworking projects, stained glass, watercolor paintings; Sher makes mosaics. To contact us, email email@example.com
Charlie Simonds’ Woodworking Projects
The dust of our saw
Has the fragrance of flowers
In a mountain breeze.
The breeze strews our sawdust blooms
From the sharp teeth of the saw.
Japanese print and poem
Oak corner chair with Danish cord seat, (front and back views) made by Charlie, inspired by Scottish architect Charles Rennie MacIntosh.
Below is a floor lantern Charlie made inspired by Japanese designs.
Recent project: Small hand-carved walnut and cherry table
Tables: Small tables made from various types of wood
Wooden boxes: Boxes inspired by Shaker candle boxes and Japanese tool boxes
Charlie Simonds’ Stained Glass
These are some of the stained glass panels Charlie has made. Many were made to fit into wood cabinets. Others are works of art in their own right
Most recent project: Oak and walnut cabinet; the door has a stained glass panel of a common yellowthroat warbler and yellow irises.
Charlie Simonds’ Watercolors
Charlie, architect retired from The Kubala Washatko Architects, still paints with other artists there — as part of what they call “The Dumpster School” of painting. This painting of Charlie is by Tom Kubala.
Many of Charlie's paintings are framed with his own handmade wood frames.
Door County Sunset
Eiheiji Temple, Japan
Half-Dipper Bridge, Eiheiji, Japan
Basho's Gravesite, Japan
Black-Crowned Night Heron
Charlie's paintings have been exhibited in member shows at the Cedarburg Cultural Center and the Museum of Wisconsin Arts. He often has work for sale at The Pink Llama Gallery in Cedarburg.
Elvira Gate, Granada, Spain
Bearded Iris with Spider
Charlie's work is often inspired by his travels to other countries — Japan, Spain, and Scotland — as well as the Wisconsin countryside.
Sher Schachameyer’s Mosaics
Recent project: Sher and Charlie worked together on this mosaic backsplash for their kitchen. Charlie did the carpentry and made the glass leaves; Sher created the design and made the ceramic geraniums and background. Below are photos of the piece in progress as well as the finished mosaic.
There's something satisfying about making mosaics — combining fragments of dishes, tiles, shells, crockery and glass into new designs, giving them new purpose, using techniques that have been used for thousands of years.
Interconnected Flowers: Inspired by folk art and lush gardens, exuberant blossoming and growth
Moonflowers: Like the ones in our garden
The top fish was inspired by ancient Roman mosaics; the bottom fish made of terracotta pots and tiles is unfinished in this photo.
Platterpusses: Mosaic faces on the backs of platters, inspired by the mosaics of Cleo Mussi
Mosaic Tabletop: Charlie built a small table, and Sher made a mosaic inset for the top.
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
Iris Design Workshop is currently located in the NSAA Building, 1111 Broad Street, Grafton, Wisconsin