Tom Jaszczak

“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 one’s 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.”

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 Jaszczak at the Penland School of Crafts. Tom has received several awards and honors including, a Jerome Projects Grant, Emerging Artist Award through NCECA, as well as Ceramics Monthly, Lincoln and Lil Street Fellowships through the Archie Bray Foundation and in the summer of 2014 Tom was an Honored Maker at the Maker’s Faire at the White House in Washington D.C. Tom’s current body of work are traditional pots made of earthenware that explore minimalism and are finished with a cone 2 soda fire surface.

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