Stephen Yusko (Ohio)
Title The Way Things Go
Medium/Materials: Forged, machined, and fabricated steel
Dimensions: 52.5" x 85" x 10"
Photographer: Dan Morgan
The objects I make are an exploration of concepts, form, line, surface and function combined with thoughtful design and craftsmanship. They are also the result of my appreciation and fascination with materials -- specifically steel. Whether used alone or with other materials, I am drawn to steel’s industrial history, working properties, methods of joinery and range of finishes. I love when steel is heated in the forge, it moves like clay, allowing this tough material to be transformed into elegant and graceful shapes.
My work ranges in scale from intimate vessels to larger scale furniture and sculpture. All exhibit a broad range of techniques, from traditional blacksmithing processes to modern fabricating methods. In moving back and forth in scale, the pieces inform each other, allowing me to generate ideas and have a better dialog with the work.
I am particularly intrigued by the structure and underside of things: piers; arches and trusses of bridges and roadways; and the framework of buildings along with the tools and equipment used to build them. They tell a story, like the parable of the blind men observing an elephant. How things change depends on one’s point of view.
The shapes, textures and connections of the materials I use are part of that story. My current work expands on these ideas by exploring movement and motion, distance and perspective and the concept of 'home'.
Stephen Yusko lives and works in Cleveland, OH. He has worked as a studio artist for over 20 years, making forged, machined and fabricated steel vessels, furniture and sculpture. Yusko received a BFA in Sculpture from the University of Akron, Ohio, was the artist-in-residence at the Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, and received an MFA in Metalsmithing from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Yusko has taught at several schools and universities, including Haystack School of Crafts (ME), Penland School of Crafts (NC), and was the 2014 Fall semester Windgate Artist-in-Resident at State University of New York (SUNY) at Purchase; and is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Haystack School of Crafts. He has exhibited his work widely including the Metal Museum (TN) and the Society for Contemporary Craft (PA) has been published in several books of contemporary metalwork, including 500 Metal Vessels by Lark Books. In 2011, Stephen Yusko was awarded a Creative Workforce Fellowship, which is a grant funded through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. In 2013, Yusko received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Grant. See more at www.stephenyusko.com.