Steve Tobin: Cocoons
A native Philadelphian, artist Steve Tobin is world renowned for his sculptural work in glass, bronze, steel, and ceramic. For more than 20 years, he has developed a wide array of sculptures in diverse media. Typically one exploration leads to the next, yet all are based on his innate interest in nature. Specifically, Tobin transforms microscopic forces of nature and common natural forms such as termite hills, tree roots, animal bones, and even the forest floor into large-scale works of art.
One of Tobin's earliest works, from the late 1980's, is a series of hand blown glass cocoons. The cocoons range in size from 5 to 15 feet tall. The sculptures are commanding in scale, technique, and beauty. They are elegant, slender objects of glass-some feature spirals that swaddle the underlying form. Each glass cocoon is surrounded by taller, hand-forged iron rods that support it but also appear to both cage and protect it.
Tobin has said of the cocoons, "Glass is like a river without a riverbed. Iron carries with it a visual weight and depth that is connected to the earth. The iron structures of these works restrict yet support the glass within them, but it is the ethereal nature of the glass that gives them life. These opposing but inseparable elements reflect the duality of being."