TOM BOTTMAN

ARTIST STATEMENT

There is just something about working with clay that I love - the feel of it, the smell of it, the looks of it all soft and pliable and asking to be made into something. I was introduced to clay in college.

I graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English literature and a minor in art, taking lots of pottery classes with Dorothy Berenson. After graduation, my wife and I made our living for 18 years as full time potters, working with the American Craft Council shows in San Francisco, Dallas and Baltimore. During that time we sold in art and craft galleries around the country. Our home studio was in Salt Lake City, Utah.

We gave up the handmade pottery business in 1988, and developed several lines of commercial stoneware, based on our designs, that we had made in Japan. That business grew into a gift ware and greeting card business that we sold in 2015. We retired to Hood River and I set up my pottery studio again. I am  loving it!

We have a half acre of property here in the Hood River Valley. There is an old cottage on the property that we have converted to a pottery and painting studio. The electric kiln sits on the covered back porch.

I am making completely different pieces now - lots of texture and ceramic stains, inset colored clay dots and dashes, rich dark glazes. I enjoy imagining and making new shapes and forms. And enjoy constantly learning new ways to do things.