Tom JaszczakShafer, Minnesota

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Tom received a BA in Visual Art and a BS in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Bemidji State University.   He was a summer resident and a long-term resident at the Archie Bray Foundation.  In the fall of 2015 Tom began a 3-year residency with his wife Maggie Jaszczak at the Penland School of Craft.  In 2018 Tom and Maggie put down permanent roots in Shafer, MN.

My pots are minimal, both in decoration and form.  They are fired to cone 2 in a sodium atmospheric kiln using red earthenware and slips/underglazes.

I seek a balance between tradition and modern.  My pots have layers, first the decoration that is bright yet flat and in the foreground. My decoration is minimal or often a simple graphic, placement of this moment is essential to the focal point of each pot.  Second the slip that is fluid and has a rich depth in surface.  Finally, the ruggedness of the clay with scrapes and small pits.  This cumulative journey of a pot tells a story. This story brings the user into the moment of making and firing. Slips, trimming lines, finger marks, edges, wad marks, drips, scratches and shadows capture a moment in time and tell more of the story.  I react to every firing with new ideas and new information; this keeps the overall process fresh and exciting.  A successful pot has depth through these processes, obtains humbleness through form and both a thoughtfulness and playfulness in function.