St. Paul artist Tom Abel’s work is an evolving experiment with hand-built clay techniques. “I like cracked clay, twisted clay, textures and earthy forms,” says the artist. To this end, he often reserves bright, glossy glazes for the interiors of his work so as not to distract from the exterior character of this high-fired stoneware.
Tom studied art at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and at the University of Nebraska. After college, he worked as a carpenter, computer programmer and web designer. “Creative thinking has helped me in all of my endeavors,” he states, “but my ‘work’ has never completely fulfilled my need to express myself. In the spring of 2006 I took a class in pottery and have re-discovered clay and my passion for art.”
Tom’s artist statement: “When I’m learning something new I try the very thing I was told will never work first. This way I think I may find something new, or transform an issue that everyone tries to avoid into an attribute that is unique to my work. The work I do reflects what I see in the world around me: rocks, busted up concrete, buildings in decay, and people, who although bright on the inside, show a weathered exterior to most who pass them by … Like most artists I have to make things to satisfy my soul, but at the same time I hope to make something you enjoy looking at, touching, or can use in some way in your life.”