Shelley uses hand-rolled clay coils to build complex, hollow shapes without armature. Each piece is one of a kind. The coiling method allows her to push the limits of form and move freely between deliberate plan and improvisation. It is a slow process that can take several weeks. Her sculptural pieces are not meant to be functional. The pieces are meant to be appreciated in the round. Each side is meant to intrigue.  Her work is influenced by both the sculptors and painters of the abstract expressionist movement , as well as ethnographic art. Shelley’s sculptures have been described as organic and anthropomorphic although her intent has always been abstraction. Her work can be found in private and corporate collections.

Shelley was born in Chicago and moved to the Bay Area in the 1980’s. She has studied ceramics with such artists as Erin McGuiness, Gerald Arrington, Mark Hewitt, Christopher Kanyusik, and Julia Feld, among others. Her background includes classes in painting and drawing, a certificate in the Appraisal of Fine and Decorative Arts from the University of California at Irvine, an MA from the University of Chicago, and a BA from University of Illinois, Urbana.


represented by the following galleries:

HAMMERFRIAR Lori Austin Gallery
132 Mill Street, Suite 101 6780 Mckinley St. #150 ( The Barlow)
Healdsburg, CA 95448 Sebastapol, CA 95472
www.hammerfriar.com www.loriaustingallery.com

coastal eddy a gallery
1417 S. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, Ca 92651


Sept-Oct 2017   "Shelley Spira Burns and Bill Shelley"  HAMMERFRIAR, Healdsburg, CA  

Jan 2018 "The Annual Invitational Show 2018"  The Arts Guild of Sonoma, Sonoma CA

June 2018 “13 Years Retrospective” HAMMERFRIAR, Healdsburg, CA