A few months ago (time flies...), Jonathan Russell, a friend, introduced me to Thomas Scoon, a new friend. Okay, I'm sorry, we're a little casual here, but it's Saturday morning, someone is outside with a lawnmower, it's California and the sun is shining...casual is good.
Jonathan is an artist referred to me by my friend, John, years ago, when we visited his Open Studio at Hunter's Point in San Francisco. I was looking for glass artists, and John said, "You've GOT to see this...! The rest I'll save for another time, but today I owe Jonathan many thanks for his introduction to Thomas Scoon, glass sculptor.
An established artist with a distinguished resume, Thomas is delightful. He flew in to spend some time with Jonathan and attend our opening reception. Like his person, his work in glass enjoys highly a personable, almost folk, aspect and is wholly American with its particularly warm and communicative aesthetic. When I think of American art, as representative of American culture in general - it's friendly, embracing, humble and possesses an innovative spirit unlike that of any other culture. Thomas' work, ranging from small to life-size scales is easily defined by these qualities.
Technically masterful, he begins by selecting stones from natural habitats he visits (over years), gathering stones from the same site (for consistency of color and texture), as his work evolves, the granite forms contrast to his work in glass. Using traditional lost wax techniques, he sculpts glass forms to shape the rest of the figure, organically, like ice. It is the translucent quality of glass, as activated by natural sunlight that renders his figurative sculptures qualities of spirit or soul. With popular cultural references, and focusing exclusively on the human figure, Thomas works with ideas of community and human characteristics, which he hopes the viewer will understand as personal narrative and universal construct.
I love the intimacy of his work - how he draws us all into his human story - of family, community, parents, and life in general. It seems his long list of collectors enjoy these aspects of his work as well.