I have always had a profound interest in hand crafted work, from my Father’s furniture making, and forays into oil painting, to the gifts of tin work my Grandmother brought back for me from her twice yearly trips to Mexico.
My Grandfather was a photographer and although he died just after my birth I believe he influenced my decision to pursue a degree in photography. After receiving a BFA in Photography from Wayne State University in Detroit in the early ‘80s I did a year of post graduate work in the genre of Cliche-Verre, a photo-printmaking process. Nine years later I moved to the woods of West Michigan where I currently live.
I began incorporating my love of nature, birds in particular, into my work. I traded the camera for a plasma cutter and began assembling sculptural, mixed-media pieces consisting of plasma cut steel birds, wood, clay and found objects.
In 2002 I jumped at the opportunity to take a 1 week intensive in Tin smithing with Marion Moore in Taos, NM. I packed the truck and headed west for what would turn out to be a life-changing experience. I fell in love with tin work and felt that I had traveled full circle, from Grandfather to Grandmother, from photography to tin.
Currently I am working with copper, creating wall tiles and panels, employing an age-old process known as repousse (working the metal from the back) as well as embossing and engraving techniques. My work is inspired by all that surrounds me and my subject matter consists of the forest leaves and blossoms. While I endeavor to explore this world even more intensely through my art I keep in mind the vision expounded by the artisans of the Arts and Crafts Movement--that moral and spiritual uplift will come with the creation of Art by Hand.
© 2002-2017 Vinnie Sutherland - All rights reserved.