January 15 - February, 2003
Tom Spleth received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, Missouri and his Master of Fine Arts from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Alfred, New York. Currently he lives in Penland, North Carolina.
Recent paintings are black and white only because I can see the colorless paintings more clearly. I look into the image free of the automatic psychology of color, an experience related to looking at black and white photographs. Like drawings, the paintings are good at conveying spatial, diagrammatic, or structural information. They are also calligraphic — the gesture, in and of itself, is expressive.
The cross sections of my ceramic forms are basic geometric shapes — circles, squares, triangles… I make forms by linking two dimensional shapes in three dimensional space. The forms have clarity and are easy to understand.
The clay body is translucent and the walls of the objects are filled with light. This photon awareness is important to me. I chose the glaze because it does not get in the way.
The ceramics are made concurrently with the paintings and both are phenomenological, to some extent. The metamorphic chemistry of the fiery kiln, the mixing of paint beneath the moving trowels, the viscosities, gravity, time and light all contribute to the final product. The works sample the universe rather than depict it. I act as an agent for these forces and I am always astonished by the universe as I find it.
October 24, 2002