Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sculpting a Life: Susan Gallacher-Turner's turn in the Pacific Northwest

Portland Open Studios:
Opening my studio and my creative process to my neighborhood.

I do sculpture work in aluminum screening, copper sheeting and clay. I love faces and animals and the concept of shapeshifting. I see faces and figures in the landscape around me, the leaves on the trees, the clouds in the sky, the rocks and even the marks on the ceiling. My source of inspiration and materials seem right to me, that’s why I do it.

But to others, I realize it may seem a bit odd. Since I work on my own, in my studio, this isn’t a problem, really. I can do what I do and no one knows the difference. Until now.

As part of the Portland Open Studios Tour, I invite people to come into my studio and watch me work. They get to see me push a bear shape out of aluminum screening, press dragon scales into copper sheeting and read some of my stories. I explain how I do what I do. I show them the materials and the process. I answer their questions.

I have some of my finished pieces on display, so they can see the finished product as well as the process. I hope it helps them to understand what I do and why. I hope it helps them learn more about art, the creative process as well as inspiring them to honor their own creativity.

Every year, I feel a little like the curtain is drawn back on my creative process and there I stand, alone and revealed to the world. It’s a little scary. But every year, I find out just how wonderful and generous and eager people are to share in the creative process.

If you’re ever in Portland the first two weeks of October, get a tour guide and come and visit my studio! This year, I was interviewed by a fellow artist and you can read the interview on the Portland Open Studios Tour blog at

To see more of my sculpture visit my website at Susan Gallacher-Turner or read my other blogs, Susan's Art & Words or Voices of Living Creatively.

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