Gabrielle is a ceramic artist, producing a line of functional pottery in her A Street studio; her work has been sold and exhibited in stores and galleries across the United States. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she has been a resident of the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston since 1988.
"I make each piece myself, either on the potters wheel, or by hand-building. After a lifetime of working in earthenware with a focus on maiolica, I made a change a few years ago and moved to a mid--range porcelain clay body. I was drawn to porcelain for its durability in everyday use, and its silky white surface.
Most of my work is illustrated with images drawn from nature, archeology, art history, and design. As a college student I spent a year studying ceramics, art, and Italian language in Florence, Italy, and I have continued to return whenever possible. Italian art history, archeology, design, and culture continue to inspire me.
My studio work is very much influenced by my love of cooking: I like a plate that looks good with food, a large cup to hold plenty of caffe latte, and a pitcher that doesn't drip. In the kitchen I am always reaching for little dishes, so I make a wide array of them in all shapes and sizes."
Gabrielle lives with her partner, book-artist Laura Davidson, and their daughter in the artists’ cooperative on A Street. The cooperative was Massachusetts’ first live/work cooperative for artists, and is home to 43 other artists and their families.
Schaffner has a BA in Studio Arts with a concentration in Italian Language from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, and studied at Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy.
Gabrielle spent many years working in various arts administration roles for the Fort Point Arts Community (FPAC) and served as their Executive Director until 2014; FPAC is a community non-profit organization founded in 1980 by area artists to preserve and promote the local arts community. She continues to be engaged in Fort Point, and serves on the Board of the Friends of Fort Point Channel.
I make my work for daily use; nothing makes me happier than knowing that the pots I make in my studio become part of your everyday life, in your kitchen and in your home. All of my pieces are food safe, and can be washed in the dishwasher. It's fine to reheat something briefly in the microwave although a piece may become hot, so always be careful. Never put it on the stove top, or shock it by putting it in a hot oven.