David Piper is a man of many identities.
By day, as an associate at SRG Partnership Inc. in Portland, the architect juggles the design and building of commercial structures such as a hospital in Honolulu. By evening, he is husband to his architect-wife, a daddy to their 3½-year-old son and, once he heads down to his basement studio, the potter behind David N. Piper Ceramics.
Most couture designers end up with a garment only after months of sketching, pattern-making, fabric-cutting, sewing, fitting and embellishing with ribbons and beads. Not painter Sue Lau. She takes brushes loaded with thinned-down acrylics to canvases topped with archival tissue paper to create her dresses, each of which captures the essence of a place such as Paris or Barcelona.
Denise Sirchie has a passion for making mosaics, one hand-cut piece at a time. Her sculptures and panels begin with the selection of a form (think vintage mannequin, gazelle-shaped knickknack or Plain Jane frame gleaned from a thrift shop or estate sale) and the gathering of materials—mostly recycled items such as jewelry, china, stained glass, marbles, tile and slingshot pellets—from different shelves in her studio, a former detached garage behind her Multnomah Village-area home that her contractor-husband transformed into a cozy mosaic-making place.