This video, produced by Eric Beug, for Etsy's Handmade Life series, is an excellent introduction to Loran Scruggs. It's not often we get to see an artist working in her studio and describing her process in her own words. Loran shared the following with me:
I graduated with a BFA from the California College of Arts (and Crafts). I went there with the idea of learning how to make things but, even at that point when the college still had ‘Crafts’ in its name, it was more of an Arts school. The focus was on the artist's intent; who is your audience, where to display your work, the why more than the how was emphasized by my instructors. I often wonder what it would have been like to go to a Craft School.
I've always wanted to make things; my earliest piece was a dragon fly made out of candy wrappers. My parents were supportive, allowing full access to the tape dispenser and making things progressed from there. I’m motivated by the puzzle ‘what can I make with what I have at hand? For example I’ll ponder Hunt’s tomato cans...tin cans are sharp…I cut myself... Hunt’s..red… hunt cut sharp... Oee, I know I’ll make a Hunting Knife out of Hunt’s tomato cans. Usually with a lot more threads that don’t finish into anything.
Port Townsend, where I live, is a small town with a food co-op and a large arts community. Many people here are into the simple life, living off the grid, reusing and recycling. I graduated from art school with a strong interest in creating with what I had at hand as well as not using heavy machinery. My art work reflects my values as well as that of my place."
I've enjoyed this peek into the work of Loran Scruggs. Before we leave her, I'd like to share one of her toy creations. I found these very intriguing. This is collaboration at it's finest. The wooden camel hand crafted by Etsy artist, Oopsthatsart, is beautiful on it's own. Loran takes that same camel and creates her own work of art that still serves it's original intent as a child's toy. The buyer benefits from the work of two fine artists in one piece.
"When I first saw Oopsthatsart wooden toys, I purchased one hoping the wooden wheels would fit inside a bottle cap. When they did, I was so pleased I contacted Lisa at oops..and she wrote back saying that they could do any custom order animals or shapes if I had any ideas. I immediately thought about the tins and a tiger that I wanted to make using the tins as wheels (they fit over the wooden wheels as well) and so began a great relationship."