In my work, I am driven by a sense of discovery that develops as I investigate materials. I use methods such as mold-making, scanning, and photography to capture material moments. These samples can then be printed, cast, crumpled, layered, and distorted. This process fascinates me, because like our own constructed histories, the objects are then imbued with layers of material memory that echo, embellish and obscure the original event. Like the shift from experience to memory, all the transformations that take place are deviations from the original event, yet each transformation carries with it a new truth.
Currently I am interested in mining the zone between two and three-dimensional space. Drawing from aspects of ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, and photography, the objects I make are attempts at seeing the volume of a skin. At what point does an image become ink on paper and when does a substance become insubstantial? Thus, it is through these material experiments that the work steps beyond questions of materiality into an exploration of perception itself.
— Thomas Schmidt
Thomas Schmidt received his BA at Loyola University Chicago in 2004, Post-Baccalaureate Certificate at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 2006, and MFA at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2009. Upon receiving his MFA, Schmidt worked for four years as a Professor of ceramic design at the Alfred/CAFA Ceramic Design for Industry program at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. In 2012 he and partner Jeffrey Miller co-founded the design team Recycled China whose work uses industrial waste within China to create architectural tile and sculptural objects.
Schmidt has exhibited his work at numerous venues in the United States, Europe and Asia with solo and collaborative work in public collections including the Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche; Faenza, Italy, The Daum Museum of Contemporary Art; Sedalia, MO and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. From 2004-2007 Schmidt worked as a studio assistant to the renown ceramic sculptor Ruth Duckworth. He currently holds the position of Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary 3D Studio and Digital Fabrication in the College of Arts and Architecture at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte.