C.S. Tarpley has been a well known name in Santa Fe & Seattle collector’s circles since the early 1990s. His works can be found in the collections of institutions such as The Museum of Arts & Design in Manhattan, The Heard Museum in Phoenix, The Rockwell Museum of Western Art in Corning, New York, and the Wheelwright in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Having worked as a foundryman, lapidary, sculptor, silversmith, and glassblower, he has managed to integrate his various skills with different media into his present work. Combining glass, metal, and precious stones, he transmutes raw materials into ethereal forms that capture and refract light.
Coming from a multi-ethnic family, Tarpley has always been fascinated by the ancient arts and crafts of his ancestors. He later went on to collaborate with various artists from other cultures, recreating ancient pottery forms in gem-like tones, encased in a matrix of pure copper.
Now, after an extended sabbatical that has taken him across the globe from Iceland, to South America, to Europe & Asia, and throughout American Polynesia, he is back to work in the studio at last. Working in collaboration with his talented wife and studio partner, Lei Chiu, Tarpley is exploring the rich history and culture of his new home, Taiwan. He is currently studying Mandarin at National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei.
“My personal aesthetic has generally leaned towards the classical. Archeology has fascinated me since early childhood and I’ve always been attracted to the design sensibilities of the ancients. In my work, I am elaborating upon time-honored motifs that draw the eye into pleasing rhythms. I’m constantly amazed at how simple design elements, repeated and mirrored, can render seemingly complex visual landscapes and Byzantine mazes that confound and delight the eye. By translating these historical shapes and designs into glass & copper, I am ‘contemporizing’ the antique.”