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O’Neill is a contemporary abstract artist that works with recycled metals, clay and fused glass. Her multi-media sculptures start with one or two pieces of inspirational metal, which form the idea. Each shape contributes to the final form. The exploration of the positive and negative space, the composition and three-dimensional process results in something unique and one-of-a-kind.
O’Neill’s mission is to express something beautiful using found items. She includes ceramic vessels and fused glass to accentuate the form as an exclamation point of creative expression. O’Neill creative process is intuitive. She rarely sketches and allows the found material to shape each piece. O’Neill believes that working on a predetermined result is less satisfying and usually results in a creative expression that is more pedestrian.
O’Neill was thrusted into her metal sculpture career when her Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer.
“My Dad has always been a major influence in my life. You would describe him as a “renaissance” man. He was always exploring new creative expressions from photography to candle making. He found his true calling as a potter. I always followed his lead; enjoying the journey and camaraderie. His death started my artistic journey - first making mixed media creations with his pottery and enhancing them with metal receptacles. I wanted to pursue a new perspective to honor my Dad’s art. I believe the expected presentation of a ceramic vessel limited its expression and uniqueness. This led to my exploration of metal form as its own artistic expression.”
Recently, I am exploring the manipulation of metal using fabrication machinery: Specifically, the bending and cutting of metal to form a more fluid and unique sculpture. Each shape contributes to the final form. The exploration of the positive and negative space, the composition and three-dimensional process results in something unique that usually surprises me. As well, I am exploring better integration of my ceramic and steel pieces: Building each piece with the other medium in mind.
I have recently added fused glass into some of my metal sculptures. The added materials add a small but significant surprise and delight. The whimsical chaotic nature of the glass contradicts the hard edges of the metal. The glass is not meant to be the focal point of the piece – more of an exclamation point.
I am compelled to return to the outdoors and create sculptures designed to live within the garden and among the abundance of colors and textures of nature. The last summer solstice provided additional reflection of the importance of the sun and stars and their influence on culture and spirituality. I feel compelled to explore this curiosity.
With my recent retirement from my marketing career, I have time to exhale and allow more introspection and thoughtfulness in my creations with attention to construction and care in production.
Finally, my story is more about the form than a political or social message. I find peace and purpose in the process. For now, this is my journey.
Visit https://www.fusionofironandearth.com/meet-the-artist.html for current exhibitions
Schoolcraft College, Livonia, MI 2015-Present
Advanced Sculpture, Applied Sciences
Proficient in MIG and TIG welding, Fabrication and Powder coating
Washtenaw Community College, Ann Arbor, MI 2014
Introduction to Welding
Orchard Lake Community College, Farmington Hills, MI 1986
Proficient in hand-building, wheel throwing, commercial glaze and raku
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Master of Arts in Advertising and Public Relations 2004
Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications 1984
2nd Place, Scholarship Recipient 2017
Great Lakes Regional Community College, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Mayor’s Award 2016 & 2017
Art on The Grand, Downtown Farmington, MI
Design and create art sculptures for clients according to specifications
Create sculptures to be displayed and sold at juried, fine art fairs and exhibitions
Curate and execute pop-up art gallery events
Design and manage business website and social media pages
metal sculpture, sculpture, outdoor sculpture, contemporary sculpture, steel sculpture, ceramic sculpture, fused glass