Artist’s Statement

Why sculpture? Simply, I like making things with my hands­—the process of it. I walk around an object in the making, looking at it from different angles, sensing what works and what needs to be changed. Slowly it comes to life. A title evolves. There is a quiet beauty in this process; a mix of thinking and doing that makes sense and bears repeating.

Why sculptures made of wire mesh? Mesh holds my attention and it is fun and challenging to bend into shapes. It is a modern industrial material with ancient properties. Stainless steel wire mesh is shiny, it bends, it reflects, it can be looked through, it is a fabric that holds its shape, and it can be a sheet or a single wire. There is an unexplained joy in turning a cold roll of wire mesh into something life-like that has a connection to something meaningful I want to preserve.

Great blue heron sculptures. Nearly anywhere one walks on Whidbey Island, great blue herons are a part of the scene. My favorite places to observe them are at Deer Lagoon, Greenbank Farm, and on the Useless Bay beach near my home. Their beauty and behaviors are captivating to watch. I create great blue herons using wire mesh to make a long, curving neck, pointed beak, feathery wings, and long thin legs into a pose that is unmistakably recognizable yet quite abstract in its construction.


Marly was born in the farming community of Lake Preston, South Dakota and spent her formative years in Long Beach, CA. She earned B.A. (chemistry) and B.F.A. (sculpture) and Ph.D. (chemistry) degrees. She held postdoctoral research positions at Stanford University and the University of Illinois and a faculty position in chemistry at the University of Georgia for several years. She then moved to the biotech sector and worked as a protein chemist at Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals in Berkeley, CA, focusing on research and development and manufacturing of protein drugs to treat hemophilia. She currently resides on Whidbey Island and loves the opportunities to create abstract and figurative sculptures using stainless steel wire mesh. She also draws the human figure in live-model sessions with a local drawing group.

University of California, San Diego
BFA, Sculpture, California State University, Long Beach
BA, Chemistry, California State University, Long Beach
PhD, Chemistry, University of Cincinnati
Postdoctoral, Materials Science Department, Stanford University
Postdoctoral, Chemistry Department, University of Illinois, Urbana
Postdoctoral, Chemistry Department, University of Georgia, Athens

Workshops attended:
Lanny Bergner: 3D Metal Meshworking, September 13-16, 2014, Pacific Northwest Art School, Coupeville, WA

Lanny Bergner: The Art of Metal Mesh Basketry, July 18-22, 2017, National Basketry Organization conference, Tacoma, WA