Encinitas artist draws inspiration from nature in metalwork and design

Artist Taylor Morgan and her team used the topography of Mission Trails Regional Park as inspiration for one of the custom pieces they created as part of a public art collection in Northern city, the mixed-use development of downtown San Marcos. Sculptures and murals at the 200-acre site include a recycled junk art sculpture and 100-foot mural, as well as Morgan’s personalized “Prominence Desk” at the Mesa Rim Climbing Center.

“We started designing the project before the pandemic, and like most of our projects once COVID-19 hit, there were several delays and pauses in the actual construction process. There was a point where we categorized all of our designs and moved on to other projects. I believe a year and a half had passed when we were called to ask if we were still interested in the project, ”he says of the cut-sheet steel desk with two local 20-year-old Douglas firs. feet on 3 feet. slabs.

“The scope, schedule and budget had changed, but we knew we had to do whatever we could to produce the parts that we had already put so much thought and effort into, so we rose to the challenge of finishing. this piece in 45 days. It took many long nights, but miraculously… the pieces came together wonderfully.

Morgan, 27, is the owner and operator of Taylor H. Morgan Designs, his design and manufacturing company specializing in metalwork, public art, interior design, furniture and a few other media. . He lives in Leucadia and took the time to talk about this project, staying away from Pinterest as part of his creative process, and a perfect weekend in the wilderness.

Question: Tell us about this public art program with North City.

A: North City’s development emphasizes public art and works with local and regional artists, be they painters, muralists or sculptors like me to bring unique and inspired works to the community. The installation of murals and sculptures throughout North City’s grounds brings artistic voice and inspiration to this type of urban development.

Question: Why was this something you wanted to participate in?

A: We are always looking for ways to challenge our manufacturing and design expertise, and it has been a unique opportunity to help create the artistic culture and atmosphere in North City… which has was exciting.

Question: Can you explain to us your creation process for this piece?

A: As with most of our concept projects, my lead architectural designer and I spend several days and nights playing with layouts and shapes, often modeling and rendering a handful of options using different materials and shapes. We were fortunate enough to witness the construction of the facility, from the concrete footing to the erection of the steel structure, and we were very fascinated by the shape, design and assembly of the walls of actual rock climbing at Mesa Rim.

We took a look at the backdrop to Mesa Rim and some notable rock climbing destinations in and around San Diego and ended up finding the GIS map of Mission Trails Regional Park. We used the topographic model to create the layout and undulations of the office.

What I like about Leucadia …

I love the Encinitas / Leucadia community and the small businesses here. There aren’t many places in San Diego with pedestrianized streets that lead to such a concentration of truly family-friendly retail stores like La Paloma Theater, Landmark Plant Co., or Bing Surf Shop.

Question: What was your inspiration for this piece?

A: The Prominence desk was inspired by the topographical layout of Mission Hills Regional Park, and the shapes themselves were semi-generated using parametric script using the shapes on the actual climbing walls. The functional rock gabion wall behind the desk is actually the Mesa Rim logo seen from a bird’s eye view, as you would see it from a mountain, and used locally sourced beach rocks as infill, an ode to the mountains meeting the ocean.

Question: Are you a full time professional artist?

A: We are a full time team of artists, craftspeople, designers and architects. The scope of our project extends from furniture, products, interior design to architecture and development. I personally started manufacturing fine art in high school and continued my high school education and career in welding, sculptural art, and architectural design at Mesa Community College. My job started in Phoenix, Arizona, designing pieces for local cafes and other places when I was 20, before moving to San Diego to fill a few contracts six years ago. Since then, we have grown and worked with several local brands including Mesa Rim, Ironsmith Coffee and Prager Bros.

Question: What prompted you to pursue the visual arts in this way? What attracted you to this form of creative expression?

A: After graduating from college, I had no interest in continuing to weld and had no background in design or architecture. I wanted to pursue wilderness therapy and nonprofit work with the Boy Scouts of America. I started welding for local stores in Phoenix while pursuing a second degree in Recreation Management at Northern Arizona University, when I was invited to come to San Diego for welding contracts. Everything else was learned and evolved from there.

Question: What inspires you in your work?

A: A major rule that I have is “no Pinterest”. I try to design things that you have never seen before. I also take inspiration from the process of other media, and as soon as I learn a new process, I research it and try to reinvent a way to use it in future projects. I am also inspired by my environment. After working with North City, I was inspired by the vision of growing development to create personalized and unique pieces that resonate with the community.

Question: What was difficult about your job?

A: Take time off work and delegate responsibilities. I insist on being a part of every step of the way. Between administration, design, manufacturing and installations, I tend to work 8am to 8pm everyday, including weekends. Custom manufacturing always has its own challenges, as there is no instruction manual on the buildings you design.

Question: What has been rewarding about this job?

A: I love to see my work come to life and be part of a community. The sculptures and the work I did with North City are now a part of the lives of so many people who are foreign to me. However, my works of art are something they see and walk every day. It’s also rewarding to work with business leaders, artists and even other local trades to learn more about their process and their passions, whether it’s bread baking, coffee roasting, ceramics, etc. It’s crazy to hear people talk about their world and the materials they use. , tools, procurement process. Whenever I hire a subcontractor to help me with a trade that I don’t know, I sit there to help them and observe them.

Question: What did you learn about yourself from this job?

A: I am a “yes” man. There is always a way to do something.

Question: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

A: Recently, I heard more and more people in the trades to outsource, delegate, subcontract. I used to spend my nights trying to do things outside of my scope, whether it was painting, doing electrical work, caulking window joints, or scheduling windows. security alarms. I learn more about finding the right people for the right job, and that I don’t always have to figure things out on my own. When every project is different, consult the experts if you want every detail done expertly.

Question: What’s the one thing people would be surprised to find out about you?

A: I was born deaf! I had restricted hearing canals when I was born and was mostly dumb until I was 5, and then learned to speak when I was 7.

Question: Please describe your ideal weekend in San Diego.

A: I love to explore the desert and take more time on weekends to camp, hike and cycle in the desert.

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