Tom Rupnicki ceramic and glass artist
To me, clay contains the very essence of life. When working with clay, I am exploring the human condition—how people evolve and adapt to changes over time, and the intrinsic relationships between matter, energy, and meaning.
Tom went back to art school at the age of 35,
While studying photography as an art form he stumbled onto clay and saw the light.
Wilmington College, Wilmington De. AA Accounting 1966
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
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: Some of this work can be seen at tomrupnicki.com
American Craftsman, New York City
Vetri Gallery, Kauai, Hawaii
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
To me, clay contains the very essence of life. When working with clay, I’m exploring the human condition--how people evolve and adapt to changes over time—and how we connect with each other and the physical earth. I’m interested in how people perceive, think, feel, and communicate through and about form, and the intrinsic relationships between matter, energy, and meaning.
My sculpting has its roots in 20th century organic abstraction. Hand-building using coils gives me the freedom to create complex, undulating shapes. I start without any preconceived ideas of what I’m creating but instead allow my mind to be free, and simply follow the lead of the clay.
About two thirds of the way through, the form starts to emerge. I direct it, but the form still evolves until completion. The interior spaces are just as important to me as the exterior, so it’s very important to me that the form explores both.
I use a combination of Cone 06 glazes or I use special bronze coating’s 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.