Gilles Neuray

After metal artist Gilles Neuray worked with resin for the first time, it became a fundamental element in his work. “Five years ago, I was making a fish and I needed something for its eyes, so I made them out of resin,” says Neuray. “I was so happy with the way the material catches the light that I began to use resin more and more.”

Neuray moved to Portland from Brussels, Belgium, in 2004. After studying painting and drawing in college, Neuray apprenticed with a metalsmith, with whom he made and designed furnishings such as chairs and lamps, and even worked on movie sets.

Now that he’s working on his own, his love of the ocean inspires many of his designs. “I’ve always been interested in the sea and in fish,” he says. “When I was a teenager, I had six aquariums in my bedroom.” To make his sculptures, Neuray, 39, requires two studios. At Shop People in Southeast Portland, he fabricates the metal. He works with the resin in a dustfree area in his garage (“It’s such a smelly process that I need to be away from everyone.”). For this 2-foot by 2-foot sculpture (above) Neuray put resin colored with pigments in a steel frame. After the initial resin layer dried, he added the metal and more resin layers on top.

“It’s like developing a photograph,” he says. “I do it step by step, and only at the end do I see what I have.” This untitled sculpture costs $925.

Contact Gilles Neuray via the Springbox Gallery (2376 N.W. Thurman St.; 503-228-1600) in Portland. His work is also available in the gallery at Shop People (416 S.E. Oak St.; 503-546-2518) in Portland.