Mom, wife, artist, designer, traveller, forgetful, HandyMom, procrastinator, searching, easily distracted, creative, insecure, sculptor, lover, gardener, confident, cook, disorganized, couch potato, meditator, friend, reader, house sitter, dog lover, packrat, forgetful, kind, stubborn, passionate, Vertigo, walker, yogini.
On any given day – some or all of the above. My work reflects all of it, which is why it’s so varied. I want to capture and create the images in my mind. I want my viewer to experience it with me, help you get out of your own head for a little bit so you can return with something new.
I am intrigued with the creative process. I enjoy the act of creating something novel, whether a new sculpture or a new invention. Often this takes the form of putting two disparate materials or viewpoints together in a different way to create something new. For me this can be combining glass with iron or applying science and engineering to the arts. In recent a series I have been using by background in materials science to explore how changing the material used to create a sculpture can change the meaning and the viewer’s interpretation of the piece.
I strive to build functional custom furniture pieces with clean elegant lines, incorporating quiet details and accents to enhance visual vitality. The designing, joining and finishing of a piece has always appealed to me. The process demands the use of both the hands and mind. My deepest satisfaction comes from designing a piece that both the owner and viewer find both useful and interesting.
Originally from Newcastle in the North East of England, I was first exposed to woodworking through my father. After leaving school and serving a four year City & Guilds woodworking apprenticeship at Newcastle College of Arts & Technology I worked as a journeyman woodworker making everything from cabinetry to fine furniture.
Along with my own custom furniture work, I demonstrate nationally for Lie-Nielsen Toolworks at their Hand Tool Events. These events provide an opportunity for people to get hands on experience using heirloom quality woodworking tools.
Cassandra Gooding, Metals
Art has proven itself to meet a core human need that can be fulfilled by making it or by experiencing it as an observer through sight, touch, or sound. I believe the practical aspects of life can meld with the basic human need for artistic experience to enrich our lives, homes, neighborhoods, and the greater world community.
During a recent visit, I had a wonderful conversation my grandmother. She asked me about the inspiration for my work, how I develop my design concepts, my problem solving techniques, how my training in and experience in architecture informs my art, and how I trained to work in metal and wood. The short answer is, though my formal training began in adulthood, I’ve been filing away information that informs my art since I was 5 years old.
I am inspired by nature, people, the seasons, and world events. I visualize and feel a project within my inner personal space, choose the methods and materials that align with the inspiration, and produce, all the while solving problems within the context of the piece. Whether its architecture or sculpture, the process is essentially the same, only the medium changes.
Sophie Copeland, Ceramics Vessels and Sculptures
5’3”, 129 lbs, short brown hair, grey highlights, brown eyes, unibrow (plucked). Pierced ears, silver hoop earrings, silver necklace with a Hamsa Chai pendant. Shoe size: 8.5. Bra size: 34C. Perfume: Chanel No. 19. Watch: Swatch. Tattoos: none. TB inoculation scar on upper left arm. Crowns: 5. Jeans with T-shirt.
Growing up in Hungary, I watched my father piece together the shards of a 2,000-year-old pot he found on the shores of the Danube. That was back in the early ‘60’s. Now, 50 years later, living on the other side of the Atlantic, I work with clay. Each time I throw a pot on my wheel or sculpt a figure, the clay in my hand connects me to those millions of anonymous ceramic artists whose names vanished but whose beautiful pottery and sculptures still tell stories. It’s humbling to remember that the first clay figure, the Venus of Dolní Věstonice, was fired around 30,000 years ago and the potter's wheel was invented in Mesopotamia around 6,000 BC.
Marc Staples, Metal
As a sculptor, painter, and digital printmaker, I have been a professional in the fine arts business over the span of the last two decades. Since 2001 my focus has been on creating unique metal sculptures that are inspired by a combination of my love of both nature, color and geometry.
Although I am a third-generation artist from a family that includes painters, sculptors, fabric designers, leather crafters, and actors, my artwork primarily developed through my own personal experimentation and instinct. I incorporate various metals and glass into my sculptures, both materials taken from the earth, and blend them with my skills as a painter, often applying vibrant finishes and varieties of color.
I continually strive to capture moments in time from the ordinary world around me and infuse my creations with drama, importance and the magic found in nature…..such is the force which nurtures my work.
I have been interested in clay since I was a small child and have been actively pursuing my passion for the past ten years. During that time I have studied ceramics at both The Appalachian Center for Crafts and Penland School of Crafts. I have a preference for creating handbuilt, organic sculptural pieces.
When I am immersed in clay I feel like I am connected to the Earth. I utilize the clay in an organic, flowing, natural manner. In my work I love to use deep, dark and bold texture. By making pieces that are organic in shape and texture, they reflect nature and give my pieces life.
I have been a professional sculptor since 1979. In 2001, I relocated to Durham, North Carolina from Cincinnati, Ohio with my wife and two children. I earned a B.A. from Beloit College and interned with Midwest sculptor O.V. Shaffer. I have created large-scale public and private sculptures for clients across the country, including a Charles Taft Memorial, a Vietnam War memorial, and numerous pieces for public libraries, churches, a retirement village, a metropolitan zoo, a city theater, and other venues. I am currently working as an artist in residence for Liberty Arts in Durham.
I completed my BFA in 2004 and MA in 2006 in Sculpture Ceramics/Foundry at the State University of New York at Oswego. After studying bronze and aluminum casting in Australia and cast iron work in England, I moved to work at Polich-Tallix Fine Art Casting Foundry in New York. There I was fortunate enough to work with many of the leading sculptors in the world. I since have moved to Hillsborough, NC to spend more time working on pieces of my own design. My ceramic sculptures and metal casts are very organic and frequently influenced by designs from objects found in nature, or other natural occurrences. The notion of the absence in a sculpture appeals to me and I often use this void to enhance my metal and ceramics pieces.
I’ve always been interested in how things go together, they way things are constructed using the building blocks of the raw materials to create a pleasing whole. A woodworking class tapped into that fascination with the construction of physical objects and led to longer furniture making courses at the North Bennet Street School in Boston and the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Maine.
I’m interested in new forms that address old issues—what to do about the mountain of books and magazines piled beside the bed, for instance. I’ve designed and built both one-off as well as small-scale production pieces and enjoy both of those processes. Having an idea take shape in my mind, transferring that to drawings on paper, then creating the actual object is deeply satisfying. I’m drawn to the spare, clean lines of modernist forms; more and more, I plan to combine that aesthetic with a lifelong interest in finding and reusing salvaged items and materials.
Michael E. Waller, Metals
My work is a reflection of my environment- both the physical and emotional. The series of cast pieces are three-dimensional landscapes inspired by the natural beauty of North Carolina that has fascinated me since childhood. Organic forms, textures, and spatial relationships are utilized to represent the moments of a landscape remembered. The basket series is a reflection of the importance of family. These pieces symbolize the universal traditions of gathering, and the strength of numerous elements in unison.