Chris Stiles has always been drawn to working with his hands and has described his relationship with materials as a conversation. There is as much give as take between these two independent forces and the relationship is truly a friendship. The challenge of this friendship is to create a balance between the materials’ needs and one’s own thoughts.
A common thread running through Chris’s work is the ability to be: inventive, inviting, playful, tactile and most importantly expressive of the human spirit. These elements are why people find his work so endearing. When talking about art and design, Chris is often quoted as saying, “It’s just material until someone sculpts their thoughts into it.”
After receiving a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts from California State University Long Beach in 1992, the next step in his educational training was to work within industry. While working in industry, different techniques and tools revealed new avenues to express creativity. Chris found industry to be invaluable in helping him to find his own voice.
Stiles in Clay was established in 1998 to fulfill a need to design and make work from materials under the title of craft (ceramic, glass, wood, fiber, etc.) Since the establishment of his company, many pieces have found a home in private collections, galleries, craft stores, museum shops and other stores across the country and beyond.