Born in1936 in Detroit, Michigan, Stanley Lechtzin earned a BFA in 1960, from Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan where he studied with Philip Fike. He earned an MFA in 1962 from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where he studied with Richard Thomas. He is currently, Professor of Crafts and Head of Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, where he founded the area in since 1962.
Lechtzin is the recipient of numerous awards and grants including the Great Teacher Award from Temple University, 1989; Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship, 1987; National Endowment for the Arts, Visual Arts Fellowship Grant, 1984, 1976, 1973. Solo Exhibitions include William Penn Museum, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1984; and Goldsmiths' Hall, London, England, 1973. Exhibitions include most recently, Defining Craft, the American Crafts Museum, New York. Also exhibited in Ornamenta 1, Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim, Pforzheim, West Germany 1989; Good as Gold, Renwick Gallery, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; The Eloquent Object, The Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1987; and Craft Today Poetry of the Physical, American Craft Museum, 1986. Permanent collections include the American Craft Museum, New York; Goldsmiths' Hall, London England; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; and Yale University Art Gallery.
A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
The computer is a liberating force that provides us with freedom and independence. It is inexpensive, readily available and unlimited in its applications.
In 1980 I began devoting much of my time to an exploration of the computer as a tool for the studio artist. I now believe that the CAD/CAM (Computer-Aided-Design / Computer-Aided-Manufacture) is a new craft medium. This new medium brings together and places in the "hands" of the artist, the three necessary stages of object making: concept, design and execution. The industrial revolution separated these stages of creation into distinct, specialized disciplines. The reaction to this gave rise, in the last century, to the contemporary craft movement. The hands on CAD/CAM craft provides an answer to the problems with technology that so disquieted my predecessors; namely the alienation and removal of the designer/artist from the interaction with materials and the satisfaction and discoveries derived therefrom.
I choose to immerse myself in the technology of my generation. This becomes the means through which I create aesthetic values and realize new possibilities for artistic expression. I wish to speak to and about my time, and can find no better medium than the technology developed by this highly industrialized society. The challenge to remain a man of my time stimulates and informs my work.
The "Plus=Minus Brooch" is a metaphor for digital technology. The catch mechanism that requires the interaction of the wearer is a technology reference. As it glides in and out of the brooch body it suggests digital input and information output. While the photosensitive epoxy defines this object as a product of this age of technology. Why the gold? It is the symbol of my heritage and grounding in the craft of the goldsmith, but know, that it too was formed by computer.
My work creates personal values using materials and processes which today are used mechanically and anonymously by industry. The forms I create would not evolve as they do without regard to the body. That my art is worn, is only a point of departure for me. It is meant to require both the wearer and the viewer to interact with it. I would have no interest in creating these pieces, if all they need do is adorn. My intent is to act as an interpreter of today's technology and demonstrate human values in control of this new medium.