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  • Writer's pictureShea Stanfield

Scraps of a Great Story

"Every great love starts with a great story..." Nicholas Sparks, 'The Notebook.' The great story of artist, storyteller, and former Information Technology guru Sally Borg began in northern Minnesota on the Canadian border. Sally's parents and grandparents co-owed a small fishing resort on Lake of the Woods that operated during the summer season; during the off-season, her dad drove trucks for a local trucking company. Sally credits her rural upbringing with her appreciation of nature, anything outdoors, and learning how to work hard. She states, "As long as I can remember, all us kids (5) helped out around the resort, cleaning cabins, helping fishermen load and unload their boats, cleaning fish, mowing the lawn, raking, and painting anything that needed painting."

By the time Sally reached high school, her field of vision and experience began to expand. The high school encouraged senior girls to take wood shop while the boys were encouraged to take home economics. Knowing this, as a freshman,

Sally said, "In preparation for my senior year, I took as many classes as I could to free up time for spending extra time in the shop class. I loved making things with my hands, a passion I still have today." Sally states, "I took a few art classes in college for my entertainment; however, I never thought of myself as a creative." Sally completed a computer science degree and worked in Information Technology for 30 years with United Blood Services (now Vitalant), our community blood bank. In her professional career, her creativity was used in the area of problem-solving. Before her retirement, at the age of 56, Sally trained for and completed 4 IronMan Triathlons before she retired. During her training, she explained, "I started picking up rusty metal objects found on the street when I was running. Soon I had a small collection. Something about the color and character of rusty things attracts me."

The habit of acquiring rusty metal objects and sculptures took hold of Sally a few years earlier. Emil Kass, a neighbor in her South Scottsdale neighborhood, made metal art. Sally became fascinated by the way he combined metal parts to create a character out of them. She admits to purchasing several pieces from him before it dawned on her this might be something she could do as well. Once she retired, Emil encouraged her to sign up for some welding classes. Taking his advice, Sally signed up for a metal art class at Mesa Art Center, where she learned basic welding. She ended up taking the class twice, not because she didn't get it, she needed to use the equipment to make her creations. Eventually, Sally added a garage with a large studio space to her " downsized retirement home." And as the story goes, the next occupant of the garage was a MIG welder. Project number one was making metal gates for her newly fenced backyard. A spark was born!

"My metal art and storytelling complement one another; each piece has a story about where I found certain objects or why I chose the objects I chose for the character I made."

Sally lives in what she might refer to as her "studio and gallery" in her south Scottsdale neighborhood. Yes, Emil did gift her all his scrap metal when he moved from the neighborhood. She also has several people who look at yard sales and watch for that common scrap of metal that will be part of Sally's next alluring sculptural piece. Sally adds, "Giving new life to old metal, mostly with a sense of whimsy, inspires me. I enjoy putting the found metal together in a funky way to create something that will make someone smile."

One cannot live by creating metal sculptures alone; Sally is also a storyteller in her other creative time. She explains, "My metal art and storytelling complement one another; each piece has a story about where I found certain objects, or why I chose the objects I chose for the character I made." Sally says, "A picture may be worth a thousand words, but my rusty art is better served by being seen in person. My backyard is my showroom." Now artist and storyteller Sally Borg welcomes inquiries and appointments through her website." She is also a host studio during November's Camelback Studio Tour. It's time you start your great love with a great story in a piece of art.


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