“By taking inspiration from the outside world and turning inwards, I synthesize my experiences into three dimensions. I focus on the elegance of form, using a linear and bold graphic aesthetic, to say the most with the least amount of material.”
Born in Charleston, Oregon, Shelly Durica-Laiche received a double major from Portland State University in Sculpture and Graphic Design. “I fell in love with steel when I took my first welding class at PSU. The properties of metal really resonated with me.” In her SE Portland studio she designs and builds both functional and decorative metal sculpture.
Salvaged steel is her preferred material for creating her diverse body of work. She also includes non-ferrous metals such as brass, aluminum and copper. She collects it from steelyards, the side of the road, by donation or through her travels.
“I’m inspired by the unique shapes of these found treasures. Scrap metal has an embedded history and character that folds into each design. Sometimes I know right away what I want to build while other times it takes years of contemplation. I’m driven by the design challenge of transforming these recognizable objects into an assemblage with a new voice. I seek for the viewer to be surprised by how a material is used in an unconventional way, far removed from its past life. The process is magic to me.”
You may have seen her work during Portland Open Studios, Modern Home Tour or the Association of Landscape Designers Tour. Her public work has been exhibited at Milwaukie City Hall Sculpture Garden, Oregon Society of Artists and Happy Valley Sculpture Garden. She has a sculpture in the permanent collection of the Hoffman Center for the Arts’ Wonder Garden.
Shelly also teaches art welding and accepts commissions for custom projects.