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Ashland artist trades cold steel for warmer copper

December 1, 2005

Deborah &

s current artistic work couldn&

t be much more different than it is from her work of 20 years ago when she was as an interior designer for a large, architectural firm. Except for the metal. But then it was cool, stainless steel fixtures, a popular choice in corporate offices, and today it&

s warm, copper wires sculpted into works of whimsy.

&

I was a really talented space designer,&

says of her former work. &

You have to make the best of what you&

re good at when you&

re bored.&

But having a baby changed everything.

&

I wanted to be more in a home base rather than being out on client calls, in the jet set and high heels,&

she says explaining why she left the Michigan firm to open her own home and garden store.

&

The store opened it up for me to do a lot of creative work &

133; faux art on the walls, painting furniture &

133; realizing, oh, I can paint stuff! The people looking at the walls would say &

145;Can you do that for me?&

&

Her gallery-like home and garden store led to high-end residential interior design jobs and all kinds of art on a smaller, more intimate scale, including garden art. Here she worked in many media, including copper wire, with which she began creating beautiful sculptures.

Her focus today is on her peace mandala mobiles, but then she created a large variety of copper wire sculptures including abstract, figurative and whimsical.

She designed a complete garden line, employed from nine to 12 people and sold wholesale, retail and at trade shows like New York Handmade and the Atlanta Gift Fair, and to gift shops in Philadelphia, Chicago and other major cities.

continued selling her sculptures around the country until she came to Ashland three-and-a-half years ago and bought the 1909 Craftsman- style home (the era of design that followed Victorian) on the corner of Pioneer and B streets, which she now manages as a luxury vacation rental. She spent two years working on the home.

&

It was a dream come true to renovate this beautiful historic home. &

133;The inn is really taking off, and now I&

m making our home into a home &

133; and being a soccer mom and 4H mom and an innkeeper.&

While she previously showed her copper and glass sculptures in Ashland at Jega, Nuwandart, Flower Tyme, Ray&

s Garden Center, and Raw Elements, she&

s taking a break.

&

Now, I&

m not showing anywhere other than the foyer of the House. I sell to guests and friends and family and at a lot of appointments,&

she says, adding, &

but I do look forward to setting up my studio.&

In her home and at the inn hang some of her peace mandalas. Many include glass, some stained glass. She enjoys wrapping various objects, such as shells, stones, coral and found objects, in the copper, which she manipulates with her hands and a pair of needle nose pliers.

Created for large and small spaces, indoors and out, they are a reminder to of inner peace and harmony. She especially enjoys creating custom mandalas. &

I&

ve done ones where they say they want purple and blue and others where I&

ll just tune in after getting to know them a bit and when they see the colors, they go, &

145;Oh my God.&

&

&

s sculptures can be viewed online at delaunayart.com or by appointment at the House by calling 621-5409.