by Delia Furniture
Handcrafted in Oregon
These are our artists:
Ivan McLean and wife Michelle Bressler live in Portland, Oregon with their three young daughters, Celia Rose age 7, Anna Grace age 5, and 2 year old Molly Shea. Though born in neighboring California, Ivan went the long way to Portland.
During high school he picked up welding working several cattle ranches nearby the family home in Point Reyes, California. He later enlisted in the Peace Corps and was sent to Zamboanga City, Philippines. After a year or two of duty, Ivan went west to 700,000 acres of Australian sheep ranching. But he soon tired of sheep and headed back to America with the girl he met in the Philippines.
Back in Point Reyes, Ivan began making a living of metal work. With his self taught welding skills, he sold gates and functional objects and now realized he had a talent for the art object, selling sculptures and other decorative pieces. At this same time Michelle studied, Ivan worked. He discovered marble sculpture. An artform he still practices with great passion today. But for Delia what matters here is that for the first time his designs had the potential to be sold as production pieces. The Critter and other cut out candleholders you see today are descendants of this time.
His metal work began to mature. Or maybe Ivan's work with marble sculpture had an affect. But no longer were his designs purely figurative cutouts. Out came the Wine Arch, Freestanding Bookcase, the Tesla Coatstand and most recently the Wine Spine. This was new. Yes, Ivan is still a virtual master with a torch and can cut with the best, as the new Cat and Dog Stands attest, but they are now the exception not the rule as Ivan is now producing far more sculptural pieces than cutouts. But this is the nature of Ivan McLean. Not finding much peace with objects at rest, he stays in motion for the sake of moving. This is what seems to keep him going.
The theme of the moment is Mission. Not unique but done in his own way. Solid. Big Welds and warmly functional. Oh, and he learned to make spirals. Its all quite good.So the story remains the same. Busy as ant making a mighty little empire.
"Keep Clear!!!!! Man, coming through"
Jason McLean; artist, mechanic, lumberman, rancher, horseman, farmer, mysteryman. From the hilltop where Jason's home sits you can see a small kingdom. There is tilled land by the creek where a neighbor farms the land for half the crop. Over and down to the left are the horses who graze amidst giant steel sculptures. And there off to the West you see mountains of windfall redwood timber that await milling.
Jason's shop is here too. One giant P.A. speaker rips out White Zombie while the press crunches more rods for CD racks. So little time for so much work.
All this so fast. From age eleven he was welding. Before he could drive he was fixing and trading cars for better cars. He made gates and then functional crafts. DELIA met Jason in 1991 and the two struck a deal. But the story does not end here. It continues on that hilltop, with Jason in his studio; working, planning and building. So little time, so much to do.
I'm asked to prepare a bio, an artist's statement. Now frankly, I'm not too happy doing such things: taking a view that the work should be the reason you buy, not the pedigree of the builder. Still, I keep getting these emails from Delia.
Perhaps you can be of help to me. Stop reading and take a look around your room. What do you see? I'd wager that straight lines are what you see. But if you now look out your window, I'm thinking that it's the curve of trees you see, or the arches of cloud. My third thought would be that you like looking outside more than you like staring at your walls. That sums it up for me: we live our lives in a structured world, but prefer a natural one.
Doubtful? Another bit of help please. Imagine that happy place that doctors and tax attorney are always talking about. Yep: beach forest, mountain, stream, ocean. Not a happy angle to be found.
And that's why I build as I do. The first thing done when i build a piece is to take straight metal and work it into some movement. I tremble it, trying to the non-organic steel to take the form of an organic material. From there, the table or music stand easily takes its shape as twigs, brambles, or reads. Of course I do use straight lines, but only when necessary for a table top or a telescoping tube. We bounce around between corners and right angles enough without my adding to it.
Now before I get mail suggesting the hypocrisy of designing an Ionic table with its more classical lines, may I suggest that such work is sympathetic with my design idea. Twigs and reeds are after all, a return to more elemental life. The classical forms of Greece are found on the way there. A naos in Greece is a bus stop on the way home to the glen.
I'm thinking that covers artist's statement. Now on to the bio part. Here's what I want you to know about me. Last month I had the money to replace my 18 year old television with a new flat panel, or to go see a total eclipse in Kastellorizo, Greece. I was a mile away and 600 meters above the town when the sun entered totality. I could hear the gasp from the shore.View All Items By Delia Custom Design Center