This is not your average artisan. Alanna Baird doesn’t just make sculpture, she does everything from casting her own bronzes to recycling tin cans into beautiful sculpture. And she doesn’t stop there, she is an accomplished potter, teaching at the Gloucester Pottery School in Ottawa, and she also creates beautiful, original lino block prints. Of course she learned these skills over a lifetime, but still she’s one very impressive artisan.
Alanna was born in Burlington, Ontario. She was creating lino prints in 1973 and she has been working with clay since 1977, often exploring fish motifs in decoration and form. She lived on the shore of the Bay of Fundy for many years, which has no doubt provided much inspiration for her work.
Alanna likes to reuse discarded tin, recycled copper roofing and refuse as supplies. Bean cans, catfood lids, and scrap copper roofing are among the materials found in her workshop. Her foray into creating sculpture began when she entered a weathervane contest held by the Canadian Museum of Civilization in 1991. Her piece, entitled “T’aint No Tuna Here” was purchased by the museum for its permanent collection.
All Alanna’s work is original and fun. Many of her pieces are installed outside as part of a water feature or landscape art.
She has turned her skills to other types of work as well such as the lantern from Minister’s Island Bath House or the six, sheet zinc “garlands” which were made as part of the restoration of the Centerbeam Place, Saint John, NB, both are shown below.