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Spark the Creative Flame

2013, 6 x 9", XII+ 220 pages, full color, index.

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American Art & Craft ~ Biography ~ History & Culture--North American

Spark the Creative Flame

- Making the Journey from Craft to Art

by Paul J. Stankard (click for author info)

$37.95 Softcover
ISBN 978-0-1-935778-24-0
$49.95 Hardcover
ISBN 978-0-1-935778-23-3

Please click here to buy this book in softcover.

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Click here for Table of Contents, Foreword, and Preface. (Please rotate PDF, if necessary.)

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Spark the Creative Flame is a source of information and inspiration for the thousands of people who are discovering the creative possibilities of crafting glass through flameworking and evolving their craft into art. This book is an educational resource for individuals engaged in self-directed learning as well as a text for college-level art and craft programs. While Spark the Creative Flame focuses on flameworked glass, the themes transcend material and speak to broader issues and challenges relevant to all artists/craftspeople.

Author Paul Stankard is an internationally acclaimed artist and pioneer in the studio glass movement. Considered a living master in the art of the paperweight, his work is represented in more than 60 museums around the world. Paul’s numerous honors include being named a Fellow of the American Craft Council, receiving the James Renwick Alliance Masters of the Medium Award, and receiving the Urban Glass Award for Innovation in a Glassworking Technique. He has also received two honorary doctorate degrees and an honorary Associates degree in art. Paul devotes much of his time and energy to educating students in Salem Community College’s Glass Art Program and at workshops around the world.

Paul’s training in scientific glassblowing and employment in industrial scientific glass during the 1960s allowed him to master his craft before committing himself to life on the creative side.  His successful transition from industry to studio art is due in large part to his need to be creative and his incessant pursuit of excellence.

Spark the Creative Flame is divided into three sections:

“Commissioned Essays,”

“Personal Experience and Philosophy,” and

“Artist Appreciations.”

The first section of Spark the Creative Flame includes commissioned writings by artists/scholars who have dedicated their careers to art-making and art, craft, and creative expression from an academic perspective. These chapters, by Bruce Metcalf, Judith Schaechter, and Burton Wasserman, introduce the foundation that underlays contemporary art and craft.

In the second section, Paul Stankard shares his philosophies on art-making, self-directed learning, and the pursuit of excellence through a reflective and informed creative process.

The third section represents an original and in-depth look at a community of artists who embrace flameworking as a vehicle for their artistic expression. These chapters tell the story of how each artist evolved from, in many cases, a childhood interest in making things, to art education and/or apprenticeships, to searching for—and finding—his or her own personal voice in glass. This section emphasizes the profiled artists’ perseverance by highlighting the obstacles they faced and overcame along their journeys. By combining biographical sketches of the artists' creative growth with images of their work, Spark the Creative Flame takes the reader behind the scenes of the featured artists’ signature work, and highlights the risks, decisions, sacrifices, and discoveries that led to the success of each artist.

Featured artists include:

Lucio Bubacco, Vittorio Costantini, Amber Cowan, Matt Eskuche, Shane Fero, Carmen Lozar, Iwao Matsushima, Jay Musler, Ginny Ruffner, Kari Russell-Pool, Césare Toffolo, and Anna Skibska.

Spark the Creative Flame is a unique contribution to dialogues on art, craft, and design because it combines craft history, personal philosophy from a respected maker, and in-depth appreciations of twelve significant makers. This book celebrates work and artists that pursue and have maintained integrity, originality, and mastery of process. The fusion of in-depth, well-researched artist biographies, with color images of their signature work, accessibility, and explanations of complex issues in an approachable, meaningful way, makes this book a "must read" for artists/craftspeople as well as anyone with an interest in glass art or the creative process.