Artist Spotlight: Joan Steiner and The Quirky Gnome


gnome princess Joan Steiner Brunhilda’s mother Beatrice always wanted to be an opera singer. She spent her days singing loudly, although those around here often left the area to avoid the sound. When her daughter was born, she named her Brunhilda in the hopes that she would find success in opera. Brunhilda spent her childhood going to lessons with a variety of voice instructors. Some called her brilliant, but those who were more honest advised her mother not to waste any more time and money on these sorts of lessons. Finally, in her late teens Brunhilda and her mother came to the agreement that voice lessons were finished. This left Bruni (as she was now called) to spend time with her beloved pet shrews. Bruni grew up to start a very successful business breeding pet shrews. To her mother’s delight, Bruni’s careful breeding resulted in a trio of meercats that were known worldwide for their beautiful music.

stellaStella is named after the stars in the night sky. Her parents are dreamers and spent hours gazing upwards and dreaming of her future. Stella, thankfully, was born a very practical gnome. Though she loved her parents very much, she soon knew that she would need to provide income and stability for her family. At an early age, Stella identified a beautiful spot under a large tree that was at a crossroads frequented by traveling gnomes from around the world. She started with a small food cart to provide hearty sustenance and soon built a thriving restaurant at which no traveling gnome would miss noshing. Her parents act as the perfect hosts, providing a magical atmosphere where stories are shared by all. Stella, runs the kitchen and business with a firm and cheerful hand enjoying meeting all who travel through.

gnomeKellen is an Irish gnome born in a small town near Dublin. Kellen always had the urge to wander and frequently got lost as a child. He had a special fondness for birds and often followed one that caught his eye. One day, his roaming took him on a ship across the English Channel. Far from home and rather enjoying his adventures Kellen decided to continue on. He frequently sent notes via bird back to his family to let them know of his travels. For the next five years, Kellen had many adventures and met many interesting gnomes and animals. One day he stopped in at the Gnome Nosh, a restaurant that many had told him about. He was hungry and excited to try out the hearty fare about which he had heard so much. Kellen was immediately charmed by the beautiful setting and magical atmosphere as he was welcomed by an older gnome couple when he walked in the door. As he turned to hang up his cloak, he was stunned by the rosy cheeked beauty who came out from the kitchen. Kellen instantly knew that his traveling days were over as he fell in love with Stella, the keeper of the pub. The two married and now happily run the Gnome Nosh together.

As you can tell, Joan Steiner loves using found objects to create collages. She keeps her eyes open and collects random items and incorporates them into her work. Small boxes become a canvas that is filled with unwanted or broken toys and jewelry, old photos, greeting cards and any other small items with an interesting shape. These come together to tell a story. In addition to the collages Joan reuse old furniture, wooden utensils and ceramic tiles, upcycling them with resin, ink and paint to make them unique and useful again.



Meet Joan and her Quirky Gnomes at Table #38.


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