Peggy Snider received a BA in painting and theatrical design from Bennington College in Vermont, apprenticed on Broadway for two years, and in the 60′s, she answered San Francisco’s call and became designer-in-residence for the San Francisco Mime Troupe. Peggy co-founded the Pickle Family Circus. where she designed the sets, props and costumes for nearly twenty years. Peggy has also designed award winning sets and costumes for Bay Area theatrical companies. She has been a model maker, set decorator, and wardrobe worker for such films and TV shows as Matrix I & II, Bicentenial Man, Popeye, Patch Adams, and Nash Bridges. She has been sculpting since 1980.
When I left painting behind and started working with a third dimension, it was a transformational experience. I felt like I had discovered the dark side of the moon. I was compelled to sculpt. It seemed so new and yet it was a purer form of the theatrical design and mask work that was already such a major part of my life.
My work has always come in two parallel forms: the human figure and visions of geological shapes appearing to be worn by the action of water and wind. My portraiture retains much of the worn, weathered look of the geosculptural forms.
I build hollow, circling up with coils of clay – causing me to see the model in slices of anatomy like a CAT scan. The clay moves differently when hollow; it seems more alive. Building around air frees me up. Each piece contains its own artistic and engineering challenges. I am deliberate in technique, while open in vision.
In the last 30 years, I have sculpted hundreds of heads, torsos and full bodies. I love to instill my work with attitude and emotion. Concerned with the human condition, I try lyrically to combine spirit and matter. The work has multiple layers of oxides and glazes applied to the clay before each firing. My technique of using found-object tools often causes people to mistake the clay for wood, stone or metal.