You don't have to be a kid to delight in artist and author Hilary Pfeifer's Elephabet, a recently published alphabet book that will challenge you to say as fast as you can the charming creatures' names, each of which is a portmanteau, a combination of some word beginning with a letter from the alphabet and the word "elephant". You do have to smile, however, when you hear or say the names aloud.
Elephabet from Hilary Pfeifer on Vimeo.
Marketed through Bunny with a Toolbelt and ETSY, the Portland, Oregon, artist's sculptures are crafted from recycled wood and other materials. In this Oregon Public Broadcasting feature, Pfeifer shows us how she makes her humorously named herd:
Pfeifer, whose family tree of creatives includes the painter Mary Cassatt, has a more serious artistic side that has brought her a number of grants and residencies, speaking engagements, teaching experiences, write-ups in publications, and many solo and group shows. An installation artist, she describes her work as an exploration of "the ways that humans attempt to control nature [that] in turn finds a way to adapt or reassert itself." Visit Pfeifer's Website to view her installations Natural Selection, a greenhouse of bonsai, and The Beauty of Life, which was inspired by wallpaper and fabric patterns of Arts and Crafts designer William Morris. Also noteworthy are Pfeifer's works on paper inspired by a residency in Costa Rica, works on cloth that were produced during a residency in Finland, Liminal Space, an installation created during a residency at Philadelphia's Wood Turning Center, and Chandellear, a sound installation on which she collaborated with Christian Bannister.
As the portfolio on Pfeifer's site shows, this successful artist is not content to go with the safe and the tried. Nothing she does resembles what she just did. She pushes to the edge to explore what she can do with physical objects, and draws inspiration from forms she finds in whatever environment she's working. She's also an artist whose curiosity and humor produce work that's great fun.
Bunny with a Toolbelt Blog
Hilary Pfeifer on FaceBook, Twitter, and Vimeo
Hilary Pfeifer's Do-It-Your-Selfabet (Templates)
Pfeifer is represented by San Francisco's Velvet da Vinci Gallery.