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John and Jane Kostick
Site #26
117 Sharon Street

Wood, bronze, & glass geometric constructions

Biography
John and Jane Kostick draw heavily on geometry and mathematics in their artwork. They work both together as well as independently.

This year for WMOS John will be showing primarily his early work, the construction of highly symmetrical configurations of wires and sticks. This work began for him in the mid 1960's, after he got introduced by Buckminster Fuller to the works originally developed by the artist Ken Snelson. John works in bronze, glass, wood and various other materials.

Together with his wife Jane, this past year John has been involved in making a plastic toy version of one of his designs, called the Tetraxis® puzzle, which is composed of 12 colorful identically-shaped pieces that magnetically connect.  The New Yorker magazine recently rated the Tetraxis puzzle a top scorer in the category of educational toys and described it as "challenging but not throw-it-across-the-room challenging."  Stop by our home and give it a try.  There will be a large-scale foam version, 8 times the size of the toy, that is great fun for kids to play with.

Jane began woodworking in junior high and high school and went on to get a math degree in college, which is when she became interested in making artwork based on mathematical concepts.  After college she spent a year doing an informal apprenticeship with a furniture maker in Cambridge before starting her own woodworking business in a shop in Boston.  Since 1993 she has worked out of 574 Boston Ave, a Tufts-owned industrial building in South Medford.  On display will be some of her furniture and cabinetry designs as well as a variety of puzzles that are based on John's designs, including wooden versions of the Tetraxis puzzle along with various other geometric sculptures that utilize magnets.

John’s interest in geometry and many years of experience as a carpenter are reflected in his building of compound curvature structures called Quadric Designs, such as the unique pergola which can be seen in front of their home. There are several reasons for his compelling interest in this work: the satisfaction of finding innovative solutions to challenging problems, the appeal of doing more with less, enjoyment in doing original work, and above all simply the graciousness of curves and the notion that contoured shapes can be used as elements of building in ways that are not out of reach. He uses standard carpentry techniques and materials.

More images of Jane and John's work can be seen at www.jjkostick.com.  Their new toy can be seen at www.tetraxis.com.