[click to watch installation video of "Origins"]

After 40 years in photography, Stephan wished to have an additional medium for artistic expression. In 1995, while continuing to photograph and to exhibit his photographs, he started creating metal sculptures. Many of his sculptures are large and are located on the grounds surrounding his studio. Relating a sculpture to a specific outdoor setting is an important aspect of his work. Stephan approaches each sculpture as a unique solution to a particular vision. Each sculpture remains unique regarding how the basic materials are treated and the execution of the form.
Guests who visit the studio ask where his ideas come from, what inspires the sculptures, how a particular material and technique are selected, and what has been learned working in this medium. What follows are some of the insights he has learned in the process of creating the sculptures:

  • The ideas for the sculptures come from the active imagination, dreams, one’s soul and what inspires one in the world.
  • Learn how to play with materials for no other reason than to play.
  • Try anything your imagination suggests.
  • Let the material tell you what it wants to become.
  • Be ruthless and truthful about what you have produced.
  • Step away and really listen to the piece. It will talk to you.
  • Don’t justify the success of what you did just because you did it and it took a long time and was hard work.
  • Have joy and no regrets for failing more times than succeeding.
  • Ask questions of other metal sculptors and use any resources available but deal only with the techniques of the craft.
  • Don’t ask anyone about their opinion about what you did until after you discover what you did yourself.
  • Know when to stop in your process of working on a piece.
 

 

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