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Black Cat Metal Works by Bill & Elaine Snell

Black Cat Artworks


by Bill & Elaine Snell
Handcrafted in South Carolina

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Elaine and Bill live in Greenville, South Carolina and work as a team to create their metal artwork. They have been married for twenty years, have two wonderful children, and both come from creative backgrounds. Elaine studied Fine Arts at the College of Charleston in South Carolina and enjoyed teaching art to middle and high school students for over 20years. She has taught and worked in a variety of media including ceramics, printmaking, drawing and painting. Bill studied Architecture and Building Sciences at Auburn and Clemson, and has worked in various capacities as a carpenter, designer, engineer, and metal fabricator since the early 1980's.

They produce their work from within Black Cat Artworks, a family owned and run metal working business started by Elaine's grandfather and now run by Bill and Elaine. Their metal artwork began with a custom balcony rail requested by a friend on the Carolina coast. Bill enjoyed the process and began creating metal silhouettes and sculptures. The possibilities began to grow and Elaine was soon recruited to head the design and creation of new work.

That was over 3 years ago, and we've both enjoying learning and experimenting with the medium of metal. ' I'm applying techniques acquired through working in other mediums and exploring the possibilities offered by creating with metal, I find it very satisfying to be in a position to continue my family's history in working with metal, and am enjoying applying my own skills and creativity to the process.'

Most of Elaine and Bill's work to date has been done using mild steel and a plasma cutter. A piece begins with an idea and a sketch. As the idea is refined line drawings are done which ultimately become patterns for the final piece. The intricate detail that characterizes their work must be carefully planned to survive the intense heat generated by the cutting process.

Elaine and Bill first took their work to market in early 2003. Since then, it has been offered in numerous shows, galleries, and shops around the country. The evolution of this line has been fun, challenging, and interesting, and has given both Bill and Elaine the exciting feeling that they have merely scratched the surface of what is possible. Both are eagerly looking forward to following this new path down which their combined creative energy is leading.

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