Where are you from and what sort of child were you?

As a child, I was happiest running around outside, lost in a book, or making things. So really not much has changed.


Tell us about your first memories of being creative. What were your early influences and/or exposure to art and culture?

My earliest memories of being creative were the countless hours spent drawing and painting with my older sisters.  I don’t actually remember a time when art was not a part of my life.  However, I also had a pretty big obsession with bugs, and grew up planning to become an entomologist.  Nature and science ended up having a greater influence on my early artwork work than did culture, it was a way of unifying my interests.


Describe your work in 3 sentences or less.

Utilizing my training in blacksmithing, welding, and fabrication, I craft functional and sculptural pieces that balance contemporary design with the fluidity of the handmade.


What brought you to metalwork? Was there a pivotal moment in your past where you discovered it? Or was it a progression over a period of time?

I have enjoyed working in three dimensions for as long as I can remember.  After years of struggling with ceramics, I discovered the metal shop during my first week at the Kootenay School of the Arts.  Quite suddenly, everything made sense, metal work appealed to both the practical and creative aspects of my personality.  I believe that had I not stumbled across a metal shop at a small art school in central BC, I would not have pursued a career in the arts.


Tell us about your first real break.

I think the reality of one big break that changes everything is true for only a small percentage of artists.  Within my practice, there have been many successes and failures, small and large, scattered throughout.


What has been the biggest challenge of your artistic career that you’ve encountered so far?

For many years I did contract work along side my art practice.  When I quit my side gigs to be in the studio full time, it was a shock to realize how challenging the transition would be.  I’m still figuring out how to balance my creative needs with running a viable business, and all the multi tasking involved.  I work best when I can shut in and focus on one thing at a time, but that is a luxury that can rarely be indulged as a solo entrepreneur.


What or who inspires you to be your most creative self? And how do you overcome a creative block?

I overcome creative blocks by refusing to stop and admit that it’s happening.  I doodle in my sketchbook, draw a house plant, hit something with a hammer, make a tool, etc,.  The end result may not be what I was aiming for, but it reverses the feeling of being stuck and allows the mind relax. Fake it till you make it on some level.


Tell us about your latest work, and anything that’s on the horizon for you?

I’m really interested in sheet steel right now.  In the past, my work has predominantly focused on line and negative space, so I’ve been exploring different ways of incorporating volume.  There are so many possibilities with sheet metal, I feel like I’m just beginning to realize the potential.

Stefanie Dueck

ADDRESS Interview with Stefanie Dueck.