Okay Spark is the only contemporary craft gallery in Norfolk Va. The focus of the gallery is on artists who are limited production, focusing on creating one of a kind pieces. Located two blocks from The Chrysler Museum of Art we are proud to offer art lovers a chance to own some of the best work being made in America.
Stephan Cox has designed and made original art for over 40 years, focusing mainly on glass since 1979. His vibrant and organic sculptures are collected and exhibited worldwide, and he continues his study of color, form, texture, and light.
"The malleable liquidity of glass is endlessly appealing and I use the interplay of color, form, texture, and light to achieve a compelling frozen moment. After blowing and shaping various elements, I go to my machines, benches, and tables, where - using techniques I've developed that are unique to my work - I cut, carve, and assemble. I prefer to work alone, an uncommon approach to glass making, and this solitary study allows me to distill my thoughts and plans."
Storytelling connects us to one another and explains who we are. In an age when the individual is often alienated, my work attempts to cut through the isolation by presenting common threads of the human experience. A fine arts degree in theater refined my understanding of imagery and taught me to use gesture as a powerful expressive tool when telling a story. It is through figurative ceramics that I am able to incorporate those skills in order to more powerfully realize my narrative impulse.
While each piece is instantly approachable, closer inspection reveals a world in which the story and inner psyche of the character slowly emerges. The ultimate goal of my work is to create honest depictions of the human quest toward self-revelation and a contemporary identity. And, just as we look to our past as a springboard toward a personal vision of the future, I seamlessly combine discarded relics with my porcelain figures to help tell a story. The mixed media not only creates an intriguing dialogue of materials but also informs the viewer of the scope of the figure's journey within each narrative.
All figures are hand-built porcelain stoneware without the use of molds. A straight pin is the primary tool I use to work on the detail in the face, hands and feet. Each ceramic piece is then finished using multiple layers of underglazes, stains, and slips, as well as mark making to achieve a depth of color. After it is fired, I construct and assemble the mixed media elements, which include welding, carpentry, sewing, felting, encaustic, fabric staining, and fabric manipulation.