Tracey Saliba offers unique mixed media art as statement garden centerpieces.
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Tracey Saliba: Welding a whimsical garden
Staff Report~ 6/18/2014
CAVE CREEK – Dr. Seuss observed, “Nonsense wakes up brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.” In celebration of all magical and whimsical, metal and mixed media artist Tracey Saliba has all the ingredients for the recipe to wake up our brain cells!
Tracey grew up in Ireland “making things” from found objects: scraps of fabric, wooden clothes pins (remember those), bits of metal, spots of paint, and a bit of twine. She was happiest when creating both for pleasure and purpose. In high school Tracey “bucked the system” by excelling in the male-dominated material world of metalwork, woodwork, and drafting. Upon completing high school, Tracey moved to the United States. She continued her creative journey in Hawaii, where she learned to weave lauhala, a technique used in the Pacific Islands for making mats and now jewelry. Tracey eventually moved to the mainland, married, and started her family. Here she used her technical skills with tools, drafting, and design to develop her art in stained glass and mosaic.
Eventually, Tracey met a friend with a small welding shop in her backyard, and she offered to teach Tracey the basics of welding. Tracey was hooked! Learning this new skill set Tracey on the path of extraordinary expansion in her art. She soon acquired her own welding equipment and workspace. Initially, Tracey produced practical items such as furniture, balcony railings, and sculptured gates. As she became more comfortable with her equipment, materials, and skills working in large metal concepts, Tracey began to experiment with decorative sculptural elements of her craft. The flower girl sculptures were born!
Tracey developed a technique of developing metal into fabric for her flower girl sculptures. Reaching back to her early training in weaving, she took her metal strips and scraps, weaving them into skirts for her little ladies, creating an exciting lightness of movement. Tracey didn’t stop there. With her knowledge in mosaics, she cut out flowers to bead into the weavings on her sculptures. When asked how she might develop this into her next big inspiration, Tracey replied that high fashion inspires her and that she would be moving into more elaborate and longer skirts for her garden flower girls, creating the illusion of dance and movement.
Tracey is one of our area’s most collectable artists. Her sculptures elevate her patron’s gardens to inspired and whimsical conversational spaces. Tracey Saliba is a member of the Sonoran Arts League, participates in the areas Hidden In The Hills Studio Tour every November, and participates in various art festivals through the year. To view her work online, visit her Web site at www.springflowerstudio.com or contact her for an appointment at her studio: email@example.com or (480) 242-1080, if you are considering a commissioned piece for your home or office.