Tom Radca
Birth Date: 1951

Artist Gallery
Handcrafted in Tom Radca’s rural Ohio barn studio, his pottery designs have been treasured for their marvelous depth of color and lustrous highlights. “From the first time I saw a potter creating a vessel on his wheel, I knew that was what I wanted my life’s work to be. I began my career as a functional potter, making anything that could be used in the kitchen. After 7 years of production pottery, I hit the wall creatively and considered getting a ‘real job’. But the challenge drove me. Taking additional coursework, learning new techniques, and meeting potters who would become lifetime mentors shifted my creative focus from functional to decorative work. Over the past years, I have felt challenged to create large forms. My first attempt at 30-inch plates yielded a production of 75 plates with only 8 making it through the final firing. Frustration and discouragement were tempered by the challenges – just as my beginning attempts at life as a potter were challenged by trips to the pawnshop to be able to feed my family. My present day challenge is the production of tall, columnar vessels. The kiln gods and I continue to do battle with this form. I truly believe the challenge is necessary – it tends to keep one humble. Years of challenge have produced some constants that describe my life as a potter: zeal, discipline, serendipity, and pluck. Finding my niche as a young man produced a clay discipline that permeates my life as a potter – from rising early each day to begin work in my studio, to a more esoteric discipline that shapes my character. Serendipity has led me down some long interesting roads. Accidentally over firing a matte glaze resulted in a high gloss, glass-like glaze and a new direction. Learning, through accident, that I could manipulate glaze as it is firing led to my ‘Painting with Fire’ glazing technique and a cover article in ‘Ceramics Monthly’. A casual conversation with a patron at an art festival led to a series of exhibitions in Bangkok, Thailand. Working as a potter has taken me on a journey that makes me anxious to begin each day. I love my life, my work, and recognize that I am a very fortunate man." Tom Radca