Skíathos mourns the loss of one of her true artists and the purest of souls, Stavros Tsibliarakis; sculptor, potter, poet, philosopher and the most humble man I have ever had the privilege to know…May his beautiful soul Rest in Eternal Peace…
I came to know Stavros over many, many years when, each summer, my father and I would follow the stream at Kechria,up to his humble summer cottage and sit with him, sipping wine and feasting on simple fare of bread and olives, discussing all aspects of Life and Art…till the Sun went down on the horizon…
Who better to turn to then, on the occasion of my daughter’s wedding, to make the many ‘bonbonnieres’ for us. He eagerly accepted the commission of producing over 300 individually hand-crafted terracotta dishes, each carved with the wedding logo of an olive branch and stamped by the artist himself. I offered to provide the clay for him but, in his gentle, quiet style, he insisted ‘God will provide it’ and he set about locating different coloured clay from all around his beloved island, recording each location on a simple tablet.
After fashioning each dish by hand, he fired then in his hand-built kiln (made of fire bricks that he had also made).
Once filled with almonds and wrapped in tulle, our guests were delighted with their table gifts – a true memory not only of a wonderful occasion, but of Skíathos itself, made all the more special by the artist who had made such beautiful works of art, with his own hands from the rich red earth of the island.
Later, visiting his studio in his winter house, tucked away high up the Skíathos hills, I saw the true extent of his talent in the many beautiful artefacts he had created over the years; sculptures, wood carvings, ceramics and pottery.
Humble, modest, unassuming and quietly self-effacing, Stavros credited his extraordinary talents firmly to the ‘will of God’ (he was never one to sing his own praises)…. I truly hope Skíathos will continue to hold him in the highest regard and that his memory will live on for eternity alongside Papadiamantis and Moriatidis , as yet another of Skíathos’ great artists…
RIP my friend….