Tom Budzak

Artist Statement

My current body of work is largely influenced by three factors: ancient pottery forms from other cultures, the contemporary hand-made craft movement, and pointillistic surface decoration. I incorporate the first of these influences, ancient pottery forms, in the shapes of my pieces. Some of my forms reference 12th century Korean wine ewers, others 18th century English Rococo teapot handles, while others are inspired by 16th century Japanese teabowls. As a ceramics instructor, I enjoy studying and teaching the history of the art, and often pull inspiration from many different cultures. Although some pieces are intended to be viewed as art, much of my work is also intended for everyday functional use. I take great satisfaction in designing beautiful pieces that people can incorporate in their daily life. A simple cup of coffee or bowl of soup takes on a higher quality when it is enjoyed from a hand-crafted porcelain piece. The last influence, pointillistic surface decoration, is a process that I have developed to decorate each piece by hand. Using glaze and underglaze, I apply thousands of tiny dots to each piece. This gives each piece a one-of-a-kind decoration in a mesmerizing visual pattern. I also explore leaving negative space or color blocking along with the dots to add variety. With all of my artwork I create each piece start to finish. From throwing on the wheel, hand building, mold making, glazing, and firing, I retain total control.

-- Tom Budzak