Deborah Childress, the renowned California-based sculptor and the founder of Blind Spot
Mirrors, has always impressed us with her unique artistic vision and
Over the years Deborah has bridged
her sculpture with functional craftsmanship and developed a unique line of
handcrafted mirrors, decorative panels and boxes that we proudly feature at
Artisan Crafted Home. Deborah’s functional art pieces are created in a unique
hand-casting process with one-of-a-kind molds based on real botanical objects. Deborah
resides in Marin County, California, with her husband who has taken on a new
career as a painter at the age of 83.
We recently had a chance to
interview Deborah about her artistic upbringing, her inspirations, and her creative
process on a day-to-day basis.
Tell us about your background as an artist. Did you study art
I was born In Marin County, CA. I
studied Sculpture at UC Santa Cruz and graduated with honors. Sculpture has
always been the form of art I have engaged in. A little drawing, but no
painting. The current sculpture I am working on involves the human figure and
frequently uses negative forms.
One of the sculptures by Deborah Childress (additional information upon request)
Did any experiences from your childhood shape your interest in visual arts?
My father was the first staff
photographer at Sunset Magazine. As children, my brothers and I were models for
him and traveled all over California for magazine stories, as well as the test
kitchen (Baked Alaska!). We were always the first on the block to have things
like succulents and weird trees like the corkscrew willow. We had furniture
made of wooden crates and seed pods decorating the walls. We brought home huge
boulders from mountain trips in our Citroen station wagon.
Drop Leaf Mountains by Deborah Childress (additional information upon request)
Fire Arm sculpture by Deborah Childress (additional information upon request)
Does your current home base in California influence your art?
husband and I have lived on the Greenbrae Boardwalk for about 35 years. The
Boardwalk is a unique place built on a tidal creek on the San Francisco Bay
near San Quentin. Our house is built on pilings over a salt marsh that is home
to a couple of endangered species that we see on occasion. During 7 foot tides
and heavy rains water surrounds everything, including several low-lying houses.
hard to understate the beauty and variety of environments in California. My
biggest influence has probably been Northern California beaches. I have always
been fascinated by the diversity of plant and rock shapes. I love seaweed and
tidepools. These textures are integral to both my mirrors and sculpture. I am
drawn to the rivulets on the leaves of giant kelp, the holes in the rocks at
Bean Hollow beach, the layers of accumulation in a shell fragment.
Beach Winter mirror and decorative box - find out more here
How did you get inspired to start designing and making mirrors?
What does your creative process look like on a daily basis?
I began making mirrors over 25
years ago. It seemed to be a way for a sculptor to make a living and continue
working with the materials I was familiar with. For a long time I continued to
make and exhibit my sculpture along with making the mirrors. However, over the
years the mirrors seem to have superseded the art. Currently I am trying to
separate an area in the studio exclusively for sculpture. My 1500 sq. ft.
studio is pretty crowded. I have an assistant who has worked for me for around
15 years. Sometimes it is difficult to make sculpture (my ‘play time’), which
involves sitting and staring into space when she is filling orders (our ‘work
time’). My assistant has a 1 month old baby girl who comes to the studio every day. It is easy to be distracted by Camila who is my surrogate granddaughter.
Frog Pond Bathroom Mirror in a private customer's home (see a similar style here)
Gingko Large Bathroom Mirror (see size and finish options here)
See our selection of handcrafted mirror frames and decorative boxes by Deborah Childress online at ArtisanCraftedHome.com, and in our flagship store in Langley, WA. Interested in custom work by Deborah? Please contact us today!