Ian ThomasSlippery Rock, Pennsylvania

Red Lodge Clay Center, Short-Term Resident 2016

Ian F. Thomas earned his BFA in Ceramic and Painting studies at Slippery Rock University and an MFA in Ceramics at Texas Tech University. His research explores traditional and nontraditional ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, painting and installation. Ian had the opportunity to refine his work while studying at the Academy of Fine Art and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia, The Pottery Workshop Residency in Jindezhen, China, Paducah Art Alliance Artist-in-Residence, Paducah KY, and has worked with the Hub-Bub Residency in Spartanburg South Carolina. Since 2007 he has actively conducted workshops across the country. In addition to showing his work nationally and internationally, selected images have also been published in seven major publication including, Screen-print Basics and Image Transfer on Clay.

Everything can be linked together in some fashion, in either a physical, psychological, or symbolic manner.” (Buckminster Fuller)

In 1975, the year before I was born, my grandfather, an industrial arts instructor, willed me a collection of unrelated curiosities. Among these seemingly unrelated objects were tools, measuring devices, and jars full of oddities.

As a child, through play, I would create/construct identities and stories for these bizarre unrelated objects. The older I got, play shifted to questioning, and I searched these groupings for meanings, while trying to understand the disconnected relevance to myself (or, even, my life, or, who I am).

This innocent comparative analysis of visual objects to create a dialogue has been a model for my creative research. A non-linear exploration conflates past and present, while objects of commonplace import are imbued with simultaneity, coupling personal narratives and sociological observations with a symbolic mythos developed through years of refinement. Metaphoric and anthropocentric, the work sorts my declarations, my attempts at personal and social understanding, and my opinions of the self.