Tom Coleman is considered to be one of the greatest potters in America. His relevance to the field of ceramics can be confirmed by the many artists whom his work has inspired. Tom lives with his wife and artistic partner, Elaine in the deserts of Nevada.
I’ve been writing artist statements for many years and for the most part I find the experience much like a self-message. Recently when asked to repeat this task someone said just tell us what you’re about, what do you believe in? It didn’t take me long to think about this since I talk about it in every workshop I give. First and most, I believe one must have a true love of the medium. Second I believe in quality, the highest one can achieve to their ability. Third, since I was trained in the classic Japanese tradition I think that pure form, composition and balance must be learned before one can attempt such things as sculptural or a-symmetrical pieces.
Starting off as a functional potter with a degree in fine art helped me advance to the position I am in today. Money helps pay the bills but it can’t be the sole reason one becomes involved with any art form. My true love of clay, glazes, and the process of finishing my pieces have helped me to stay just as excited about my art as I was when I started over thirty-five years ago.