After Tom Unzicker was a student at Goshen College for one year, he went to Tanzania as an assistant to Jan Bender Shetler. Jan had also studied ceramics at Goshen College, and asked Tom to help her reinstate pottery among the village women she was working with in her MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) assignment. For a year Tom worked to find indigenous materials and develop firing and glazing processes desired by the local villagers.Upon returning to Goshen, Tom continued his studies and constructed his own three chamber catenary arch hill climbing wood kiln.
After graduation from Goshen College, Tom returned to Africa - this time to Botzwana. He helped locate historic pottery for a national collection. In Botzwana he again worked with villager potters as a technical and marketing colleague.
After three years in Botzwana, Tom returned to Goshen and made pottery with his brother Jeff for a time. Beginning in September of 1997, Tom has been an MFA student at Indiana University, Bloomington. At IU he built a wood kiln and continued his studies.