Laurie Vail

Portland, OR
(503) 830-0149

Laurie at Work

Artist's Statement

I have been making sculptures out of scrap metal for the past 10 years. Each piece of scrap possesses an inherent design that becomes a source of inspiration to me, containing the germ of an idea for my next sculpture.

I am drawn to shiny, rusty, and twisted metal scraps, which I find everywhere, from dumpsters to street corners and back alleys. Sometimes friends find metal that has been stored away in their basements and cellars and bring it to me.

Right now my scrap collection includes a huge array of motorcycle parts, bike wheels, gears, and fenders. I store the scrap in my backyard or garage where I can see and touch it. Over time an idea for a sculptural piece will emerge out of the chaos. Usually the shape or texture guides me in a certain direction. For example, bicycle forks reminded me of horse legs. I also had some piano strings lying around, which I thought would be perfect for the mane and tail. Shovels without handles suggested faces, so I combined them with various tools and other scrap to create masks.


I grew up as a Navy brat which meant that there were many road trips across America as we moved between coasts. I am heavily influenced by all the roadside attractions we passed. When I learned how to weld about 15 years ago, I put those influences to work, using discarded materials to create these unique, one-of-a-kind pieces.

Flying Bird

10' x 6" x 4"


30' x 30" x 6"


12' x 8" x 6"


12' x 8" x 3"

Pacific Northwest Sculptors  4110 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd. #302,  Portland, Or.  97214