Originally from Minnesota, Tom received a BA in Visual Art and a BS in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Bemidji State University. Tom was an assistant to both Simon Levin and Tara Wilson. He was a summer resident and a long-term resident at the Archie Bray Foundation. In the fall of 2015 Tom began a 3 year residency with his wife Maggie Finlayson at Penland School of Crafts. Tom has received several awards and honors including, a Jerome Projects Grant, Emerging Artist Award at NCECA, Lincoln and Lil Street Fellowship through the Archie Bray Foundation and in the Summer 2014 Tom was an Honored Maker at the Maker’s Faire at the White House. Tom exhibits his work at several galleries around the nation, this includes exhibitions at the Holter Museum of Art, Greenwich House Pottery, Trax Gallery, the Pottery Show at the Old Church, Northern Clay Center and Leedy Voulkos Art Center. Tom’s current body of work is made of red earthenware and is soda fired to cone 3 with a small minimalist decorative element.
Form and Line drive my making. Line accents the changes in direction of rims, feet and form. These lines are physical and engage the user, but also serve to break up the pot visually. Formally my work has volume, it speaks of generosity. My pots are minimal and are rooted in the traditional Minnesota pottery I grew up admiring, I want my work to be paired down to the essentials emphasizing the fundamentals of pots and be truly useful. Form communicates a pots gesture; it speaks of utility, my pots reference common shapes and engage ones imagination.
I seek a balance between tradition and modern. My decoration is minimal or often a simple graphic, placement of this moment is essential to the focal point of each pot. My pots have layers, first the decoration that is bright yet flat and in the foreground. Second the slip that has a rich depth in surface and finally the ruggedness of the clay with scrapes and small pits. The cumulative journey of a pot tells a story and the story brings the user into the moment of making and firing. Slips, trimming lines, finger marks, edges, wad marks, drips, scratches and shadows capture a moment in time and tell more of the story. I react to every firing with new ideas and new information; this keeps the overall process fresh and exciting. A successful pot has depth through these processes, obtains humbleness through form and both a thoughtfulness and playfulness in function.
Source of Biography