Susan McGehee, a native southern Californian, is weaver and teacher of weaving who has explored many facets of fiber design and construction. In her earlier weavings she incorporated found metal objects and wire into her fiber wall hangings. In 1989 she began to weave pieces using solely wire in both the weft and warp. The fascination with the new material grew until she now works entirely with metals mostly recycled from the aerospace industry. Incorporating traditional weaving techniques, tools and patterns she creates lightweight contemporary wall hangings that seem to float on the wall using a computerized 16 harness dobby loom.. Widths range from 2 inches to 24 inches and can be as long as 40 feet. Pieces may be combined to create a larger piece. The weavings are easy to install and maintain and complement both residential and commercial spaces.
The kimonos are created from bronze or stainless steel screening then embellished with scraps of wire from the weavings, electronic odds and ends, and a variety of found treasures. Measuring 12 inches by 12 inches to almost life size, the pieces have a look and feel of previous centuries even though they use late 20th century recycled materials.
East West Dye Con, a company who specializes in supplying artists with anodized aluminum products is using a photo of one of Susan's vividly colored weavings for the cover of their catalogue. The June 1996 Sunset Magazine featured a gate she wove from copper strips. Tiffany and Company, Beverly Hills featured her work in their windows. “The Mover to Metal” an article in The Autumn, 2001 issue of Niche Magazine featured her work. The Carol Duvall Show on the Home and Garden Network spotlighted her work on a program originally seen in spring 2003 and still is shown in reruns.
McGehee has won awards in juried shows and has also shown in both solo and group exhibitions at Long Beach State University Art Museum; Triton Museum of Art; The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Gallery, Los Angeles; Burbank Creative Arts Center; Palos Verdes Art Center; Cultural Galleries at Petropavlovsk Russia; El Camino College Art Gallery; Pierce College Art Gallery; the lobby of The Howard Hughes Center, West Los Angeles; Faulkner Gallery, Santa Barbara; California State University at Long Beach Gallery; Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Thousand Oaks, California; Long Beach Arts Gallery, Creative Arts Center, Manhattan Beach, California; Sharon Arts Center, Peterborough, New Hampshire; Lincoln Center, Fort Collins, Colorado; Durango Arts Center, Colorado; La Sierra University, Riverside California, and Antelope Valley College Art Gallery. At The Art Center in St. Petersburg, FL, three of her pieces were exhibited in a juried show "Salsa y Salsa" as a part of Convergence, a bi-annual international convention of weavers. In Atlanta, at the American Craft Council show, another of her pieces was featured in the Georgia Trust design house at the Georgia Dome. She was an invited participant in Project Hollywood”, sponsored by the Los Angeles Municipal Gallery. Her work is also shown in commercial galleries throughout the United States and many pieces are in private and corporate collections including a recent installations of a woven wall sculptures in the Nokia corporate office lobby in Burlington, Massachusetts; Wells Fargo, Minneapolis, Minnesota; American Family Insurance corporate offices and the Phoenix office; Lawson Commons lobby in St. Paul, Minnesota; Fantasy Springs Conference Center, Indio, California; Unitarian Fellowship, Tamworth, New Hampshire; Pauma Valley Golf Club, D’Amour Center, Springfield, Massachusetts; Pauma Valley, California, and five pieces in Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare Facility, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.