Maggie Slater is a local artist and NAIT alumni making artwork out of metal.
Slater began making fine, fun, and functional art that is now being displayed and sold all around the city, creeping from the east to the west.
“I have my work for sale at Leduc Florists on Main street in Leduc. The latest place my artwork can be found in The Tiny Shop Upstairs, which is in the Strathern neighbourhood above Juniper Cafe, and I also have my work at Upper Gallery in Vermillion and the Gossamer Gallery in Wabamun,” said Slater.
Slater also participates in a variety of art shows and is a market partner for the Hand2Hand Market.
“I help to organize [the Hand2Hand Market] show. We’re still aiming to do our Christmas show, even though the spring one was cancelled. There’s one event happening this summer in August called The Artisan Market at Barr Estate Winery. I try to get into a few art shows, like the metal art show in Wetaskiwin this October. Fingers crossed that those still happen, and I can just have a table set up for those too,” Slater said.
She began welding in 2010, and she’s never looked back, going on to create her own welding brand, Industrial Growth.
“I got a summer job actually where my dad worked. [I was] a labourer and when I came back again the next summer, one of the journeymen who was there talked me into getting my bluebook, like ‘you’re banking hours, you’re working here, even if you don’t want to do it the rest of your life’ and I wound up really loving welding,” said Slater.
Being a very well-rounded welder, Slater’s pallet of art ranges all over the board. From small simplistic art pieces to more time-consuming, larger creations.
“[I have] small decorations like little bugs made out of fittings and washers that I weld onto a welding rod, and you can stick into your flower pots for ten bucks. I have other pieces that are in the 500 dollar range, so I try to make a whole range of artwork,” said Slater.
The average time spent on one of Slater’s pieces is around eight to ten hours. Lately, she’s been spending her time working with plant-based inspirations, being a lover of gardens and growth. This is how Slater came up with Industrial Growth. She’s bringing landscape and metal together.
“I love growing plants, and I love working in the garden, and so I try and make more of my pieces to be put outside in someone’s garden or in their landscaping. Now I’ve been making lots of things to propagate plants, or to plant plants in, and mixing that metal and earth kind of groove,” said Slater.
Slater has a passion for finding scraps of material that others would disregard and throw away and turning them into fantastic pieces of artwork. While working part-time at an Industrial Mechanical Shop, Slater still has the creative freedom to work on her art during her days off.
“The shop I work at, we build powerhouses mainly for the North-West Territories. I run our safety program and I do some quality control and all the welding work. I rent a space from them in the corner of the shop so even though I’m here every day, I just work Monday, Wednesday, Friday with them,” said Slater.