Deb Stoner,“Pay Attention to What You Pay Attention To”

February 20, 2020

Deb Stoner is a photographer, jeweler, designer and teacher.

For over three decades, Deb Stoner’s art making practice has included making jewelry, designing eyewear, and photographing the world around her. An ongoing project has involved growing plants to cast in precious metals as a way of freezing a moment, a routine mirrored in her current still life photographs. Deb’s botanical portraits magnify and reveal details within the natural structures of the plants she photographs. Her process of making images is a slow and deliberate arranging and composing of flora and natural insects. Up close, one is able to examine the parts of subjects that may reveal surprises.

Deb earned a BS in Geology from UC Davis, and then after many years of bench work as a jeweler learning technical skills, went on to earn a MFA in Jewelry/Metals from San Diego State University, working with esteemed mentors Arline Fisch, Helen Shirk, and photographer Walter Cotten. An Artist-in-Residency position at the Oregon School of Arts and Crafts in 1989 brought her to Portland, Oregon, where she still lives, teaches, and works her artistic practice every day. Deb’s work has been supported by grants from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, a fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission, and a broad range of generous collectors who continue to delight in her artistic explorations. Deb’s teaching experiences have allowed her to travel internationally, sharing ideas at some of her favorite places, including the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine (where she served as a Trustee on the Haystack Board from 2001-2010), Penland School in NC, Arrowmont in Tennessee, the National College of Art and Design in Ireland, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, among many others. Her deep exploration into the design and making of eyewear brought praise from the fields of design, fashion and art, and continue to inspire.