About Tom Rupnicki
Contact information and some of Tom's work is available at tomrupnicki.com
To me, clay contains the very essence of life. When working with clay, I’m exploring the human psyche -- how we connect with each other. I’m interested in how people perceive, feel, and communicate about form, and the intrinsic relationships between matter, energy, and meaning.
The inspiration for my sculpting comes from art, nature, music, film, and has its roots in organic abstraction. I’m also fascinated by myths—ancient or legendary stories that have evolved over time -- and my work often reflects and references these myths.
Hand-building using coils gives me the freedom to create complex, undulating shapes. I start without any preconceived ideas of what I’m creating, and in the quiet of my studio, allow my mind to be free, and simply follow the lead of the clay. With clay’s malleability, I find myself falling into a meditative state as I mold and sculpt. About two thirds of the way through, the form starts to emerge. I direct it, but the form still evolves until completion.
I use paper, clay and a combination of Cone 06-6 glazes or I use bronze coatings to make the surface look like ancient metal, and several layers of patina and oxidization to achieve the desired color and effect. I let the piece speak for itself by not intruding on it with elaborate decorating.
On the best days, achieving a harmony between vision and execution can be so powerful that it's like a brief glimpse of the Divine, and it's those moment that drive and sustain me.
Ceramic and Glass Artist
Tom went back to art school at the age of 35, and, while studying photography as an art form, he stumbled onto clay and saw the light.
B.F.A. Columbia College, Chicago, Illinois 1985
Workshops at Lill Street ceramic center in Chicago
Workshops in Peter’s Valley with Jack Troy, John Chalke, and Bill Shillalies
Workshop at Omega Institute with Paulus Berenhson 1990
Studied Ceramics at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Lizbeth Stuart and Bill Daley
Studied Glass at Tyler school of the Arts Elkins Park, Pa., Jon Clarke
Watershed center for the ceramic arts, Newcastle, Me. 2 week residency
5 workshops at The Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass 1996, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003
Designed and built a glass hotshop, including a 6 ton glass furnace, two glory holes, 3 annealers 5-pot color furnace, and complete cold shop in Media, Pa. 2002
Ceramic workshop with Dan Molyneux at Peters Valley 2015
Tom’s work has been featured in galleries throughout the United States, including:
American Craftsman, New York City
Vetri Gallery, Kauai, Hawaii
Vetri Gallery, Philadelphia, Pa.
Artique, Lexington Kentucky
A gallery of Fine Art, Palm Desert, California
SJG,Inc. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Kane-Marie, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Seekers Glass Gallery Cambria, Ca.
Gallery Vetro, San Antonio, Texas
Accent Gallery, Ocean City, New Jersey
Gingerbread Gallery, Key West, Florida
Philadelphia Flower show 1993 & 1999
Tom was born in Chester, Pa. and lived in Chicago for 20 years and currently lives in Media, Pa.