"The sense that if I am lucky my ashes might get to merge with the 'infinite sea' gives me an affinity for salt-washed and weathered objects, for rocks, rope, tired ribbon, spent balloons - the gnawed ends of beaver logs and nautical remains retrieved from the beach and worked into sculpture makes me hopeful somehow . . ."
Jay Stockwell has been creating things since kindergarten - when a knapsack of paper and Elmer's glue disintegrated in the rain, he became determined to unlock the mystery of materials and how they combine in a changing world.
From his early woodshop days in Cambridge, Mass. and leather-working summers on the Vineyard, to welding and casting metals at college in Providence, Jay applied himself to making art. He served as an apprentice to Menashi, the Ojibwa Chief of the Chipewa tribe, learning to carve sacred pipestone and sumac into a spiral, and to Herzl Emanuel, a sculptor in Rome, learning about the power of bronze.
Ending up in real estate in NYC, Jay continued his exploration of materials, even when limited space relegated him to working at the kitchen table. The building of a studio on Shelter Island in 2002 enabled him to commit more time to art and he has been inspired by proximity to the ocean.
There's an environmentally-conscious naturalism inherent to Jay's process - by 'recycling' found objects and binding them to a new purpose, he helps clear debris from the system and drives up constructive energy.