Shelly Durica-Laiche is a welder that designs and builds both decorative and functional steel objects. She earned a double major from Portland State University in Sculpture and Graphic Design. She fell in love with steel during her first welding class there in 2003. After college Shelly built naturalistic props and animal habitats at the Oregon Zoo, then Laika where she built tiny landscape bits for the stop motion film ParaNorman.
Now with Indio Metal Arts, created in 2012, Shelly designs and builds steel freestanding fine art, sculpture, furniture, architectural elements and trellises.
She works full time in the studio, preparing for art festivals, gallery shows and commissions. You may have seen her at the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, Association of Landscape Designers Tour, the Salem Art Show & Festival, Portland Open Studios, Gathering of the Guilds, Local 14 or Cracked Pots.
Shelly uses as much salvaged material as possible in her work. She collects it from steel yards around the state, from the side of the road, through her travels or by donation. Scrap metal has an embedded history and character that folds into each design. She’s inspired by the unique shapes of all her found treasures. Sometimes she knows instantly what she wants to build with them but it could also take years to evolve. Shelly is driven by the design challenge of transforming castaway objects into sculptures with a new voice. She delights in how the assemblages become one of a kind sculptures that can't be duplicated. She seeks for the viewer to be surprised by how a material is used in an unconventional way, far removed from its past life. That’s magic to her.