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Spark the Creative Flame -Reviews

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In Spark the Creative Flame, Paul Stankard shows himself to be something of a Charlie Rose: asking intelligent questions, giving his subjects room to expand, and not infrequently sharing the stage a bit with his own vast experience. It’s really two books woven neatly together. We have the author’s aesthetic autobiography together with a collection of compelling mini-biographies of some of his key artistic heroes in the studio-glass world. The opening chapters constitute as fine a discussion as you might encounter on the philosophical and practical realities around the questions—here not at all tiresome--of art versus craft versus design. If you make fine things, or find the people who do so brilliantly an interesting lot, read this book now! -- William Gudenrath, Resident Advisor at The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass

Spark the Creative Flame is a timely book for anyone interested in the evolution of studio glass and the voices of artists who have led its innovations. Stankard’s interviews and observations in addition to the collection of essays by prominent artists extends a shared passion for education and deepens the value of curiosity and commitment to the learning process. Stankard’s collection is spirited, intelligent, and invigorating. His commitment to education and an expanding field of stars is evident throughout. -- Jean W. McLaughlin, Director , Penland School of Crafts

Widely acclaimed for his pioneering use of flameworked botanical elements in encased glass orbs, cubes, and rectangles, Paul Stankard could simply have basked in the glow of appreciation for his more-than-four-decades of accomplishment. Instead he took on the difficult task of exploring the creative process in written form by documenting the careers of other pioneering artists in the glass art field, commissioning essays on aesthetics, and sharing personal insights from his own journey of artistic expression. The resulting book unites a wide variety of voices and viewpoints into a single compendium of thoughts on the often arduous task of finding sculptural expression in the unforgiving material of glass. Written in an engaging voice informed by warmth, wisdom, and respect, Stankard sets out to educate, share, and elevate the field — and succeeds on all counts. — Andrew Page, editor, GLASS: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly