Venus Flower Basket, 2008
Wheel thrown, high-fired stoneware components
36" x 36" x 66"
Courtesy the artist
Vanderbilt Artists Exhibit
Work by Artists from Vanderbilt University's Department of Art
(October 21 – December 9, 2010)
Thomas Lowell Edwards
Thomas Lowell Edwards grew up in northern Utah. While in high school, he was encouraged to take a ceramics class where he quickly fell in love with the process of creating. He was offered the opportunity to study as an apprentice with Thanos A. Johnson during the summer of 2000 and again from early spring to late autumn in 2001. In 2002 he started his academic career at Utah State University and subsequently transferred to Tennessee Technological University, where he received his BFA in ceramics with honors in 2008. He was also named recipient of the Windgate Fellowship, which allowed him to travel to China as an artist in residence at the Sanbao International Ceramic Art Institute in Jingdezhen in 2009. In 2008, the Tennessee Arts Commission purchased one of his pieces for their permanent collection. In 2010 he was awarded the Baden-Wurttemburg Stipend for Vocationally Qualified People, and spent two months in an internship with a German ceramicist. Edwards has exhibited his work in numerous juried and invited exhibitions in North America, as well as Asia and Europe. He has been employed by Vanderbilt University's art department as the shop technician for sculpture and ceramics since 2008.
I work in multiples. My art employs hand-thrown, high-fired stoneware and porcelain components arranged and stacked in various ways to create sculptural objects. It is important for my work to use commonplace objects, such as utilitarian ceramics, so the viewer has an immediate connection with the work, but is challenged by the context in which it is displayed.
I derive my inspiration from studio pottery all over the world and am interested in ways other craftsmen and -women arrange their wares through different stages of the making and selling processes. These arrangements, often meant for space efficiency, generate individual forms. These forms I emulate and push the boundaries of scale, often teetering on the edge of precariousness.