South Kitsap artist showing her metal
June 12, 2008 · Updated 1:22 PM
"With the recent passing of the arts ordinance in Port Orchard, it would seem probable that members of the nine-person arts board that will decide what art to buy and where to put it may look to local creative talent first.If Patrisha Murphy of Port Orchard isn't too busy, perhaps they could give her a call.Murphy has been creating custom metal art since January, mostly concentrating on pieces that would be best suited for outdoor display, and has examples of her work sprinkled throughout her own yard, walls, trees and flowerbeds.I've done all kinds of things before, said Murphy. It's always intrigued me, but I didn't have the skills to do it.With some help from a friend and teacher at South Kitsap High School, Murphy learned the art of flame-welding and cutting metals. There's not many female welders around, she said. And certainly not many in their 50s.A former educator herself, with 18 years of experience in the South Kitsap School District, Murphy quit teaching three years ago to pursue her artwork. I'm still learning, but I'll get better and better with time, she said of her craft.After some prodding from a landscape artist neighbor, Murphy debuted her work at a garden show in Bainbridge Island. The response was good, and several people purchased metal art creations. This prompted Murphy to label her business Milky Way Metals and to explore the methods of getting her name out to the art connoisseurs of the Kitsap Peninsula.To my amazement, I've already started selling some items, Murphy said. It's all totally original work.The size of Murphy's artwork varies, but ranges anywhere from two feet in diameter to six feet tall.She uses different materials, including raw steel, copper, recycled materials, and beadwork. Tacoma Pipe and Steel and Navy Yard City Metals have both been bountiful outlets for Murphy's hunt for the right items to create with.I'm just constantly noticing things that I have been around my whole life that are metal, said Murphy. Now, I just pinpoint on it and see what I can do with it.Originally from Texas, Murphy has never taken art classes. In fact, she tends to separate herself from the preconceived notions that come along with some definitions of art.My stuff is not prissy at all, she said. It's very raw-looking. You'll notice it. It's stuff that really makes a statement.As of yet metal art by Patrisha Murphy is in the $50-$300 price range, but those numbers may fluctuate as her work grows in popularity or as she becomes skilled enough to do specific custom work for patrons.I don't see anything like it around, said Murphy. It's very unique and very interesting. "