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Artist: Samuel Thompson

Samuel Thompson, WISCONSIN

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The forms I create are rooted in tradition and are influenced by historic Korean and Japanese functional pottery. The surface decoration is inspired by textile patterns and early 20th century design movements such as Bauhaus and Op Art. I create visually dynamic surfaces on each piece through texture, layering of slips, and painterly brush strokes. I deliberately leave evidence of my hand through texture and mark making. Through my ceramics, I seek to create a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation, paying homage to the past while looking towards the future. My work is a celebration of cultural diversity and artistic experimentation, inviting viewers to explore the dynamic interplay of form, pattern, and color. My work is thrown on a pottery wheel as well as constructed using hand building techniques. After creating the piece out of clay it is covered with white slip. I then hand paint each pot with underglaze design and fire to cone 06. Lastly I coat the entire piece with clear underglaze and fire to cone 1.


Sam Thompson is a potter working in Appleton Wisconsin. He attended Maine College of Art and graduated in 2013 with a bachelors of fine art degree in ceramics. Sam was hired by Maine College of Art to work as their ceramics department technician, studio manager, and TA for three years. In 2016 Sam moved to Asheville North Carolina to make pottery and work for Michael Hunt and Naomi Dalglish at Bandana pottery. Sam has participated in gallery shows around the country, including the Companion gallery, Humboldt TN , Clay AKAR gallery, Iowa city IA, The Charlie Cummings gallery, Gainsville FL, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis MN, Worcester Center for Craft Worcester MA and Lil Street Art Center, Chicago IL. The Var Gallery Milwaukee WI, and the TMA Museum of Art, Appleton WI. He has also received a winter residency at Penland School of arts and crafts as well as a recipient of the Belvedere Artist Grant and is a
member of Art Axis.


Maine College of Art, Bachelors of Fine Art, Ceramics 2013

2024 TMA Contemporary Exhibition. Appleton WI
2023 Made to Order Exhibition, Trout Museum of Art, Appleton Wi
2023 Strictly Functional National, Lancaster Museum of Art, Lancaster PA
2023 Renegade Craft Artist, Wicker Park, Chicago IL
2023 TMA Contemporary, Trout Museum of Art, Appleton Wi
2022 Made to Order Invited Artist, Trout Museum of Art, Appleton, WI
2022 Winter Featured Artist at Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN
2022 American Craft Council Emerging Artist, St Paul, MN
2022 30 by 30 Exhibition, Var Gallery, Milwaukee, WI
2022 Art Axis Featured artist
2022 Renegade Craft Artist, Wicker Park, Chicago, IL
2021 Clay AKAR Yunomi Invitational, Iowa City, IA
2021 Best in Show, Art in the Park, Trout Museum of Art, Appleton WI
2021 Artist member of Art Axis.
2020 28th Annual Strictly Functional, Lancaster, PA
2020 Material Mugs V, invited artist, Companion Gallery, Gainesville, FL
2020 Belvedere Grant Recipient, Portland, ME
2020 Clay AKAR Yunomi Invitational, Iowa City, IA
2020 Penland School of Arts and Crafts, winter resident, Blue Ridge Mountains, NC
2019 Cup The Intimate Object XV, Charley Cummings Gallery, TN
2019 Art Fair on the Square, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Madison, WI
2019 Artist at the Lake Front Festival of the Arts, Milwaukee Museum of Fine Art, WI
2019 Secura Fine art show at the Trout Museum of Fine Art, Appleton, WI
2019 American Craft Council emerging artist, St Paul, MN
2018 One of a Kind Show, Chicago, ll,
2018 Makers Fair, James May Gallery, Algoma, WI
2018 Shapes of Influence, SAA, Springfield Il
2018 Working Pots 3, James May Gallery, Algoma, WI
2018 One of a Kind Show, Chicago Il.
2017 Cup The Intimate Object XIII, Invited artist, Charlie Cummings Gallery, TN
2017 Creative Hands Gallery, Cape Cod, MA
2017 Working Pots 2, James May Gallery, Algoma, WI
2016 Irons In the Fire Exhibition, The Companion Gallery, TN
2016 Working Pots, Purchaser Award, James May Gallery, Algoma, WI
2015 Art Prov Gallery at NCECA 49, Providence, RI

Experience, Jobs & Workshops
2017- present

I am the sole proprietor of Sam Thompson Ceramics I am responsible for all aspects of the business operations. All of my artwork is handmade in my studio in Appleton, WI. Regular business duties include: ordering and managing inventory of materials. Cleaning the studio and maintaining the kilns. Photograph finished artwork and edit the photos in Adobe Photoshop. Create a business website with integrated web store with Squarespace. Process online orders. Pack, ship and mail sold work. Answer all customer inquiries and requests. Create and send email campaigns to subscribers about upcoming shows and sales. Post regular content on social media. Apply to galleries and trade shows. Design and install trade show booth. In person sales at shows, operate Square POS system, engage with customers, pack sold work.

2019 - present
I teach intro to throwing and hand building functional ceramics at Mud and Prints art studio in Appleton, WI

Assisted with building, loading, and firing wood kilns at Josh Copus’s studio for the International Wood Fire Conference.

Assisted with Bandana Pottery at the St. Croix Pottery tour at Linda Christiansen’s stop on the tour.

Assist with wood prep, cleaning and prepping kilns, loading kilns and firing kilns, making clay, making plates and trays, pricing and inventory.

TEACHING ASSISTANT, Maine College of Art, 2014 - 2016
Assisting students in loading and firing gas kilns. Helping faculty teach intro to wheel throwing. Helping the ceramics majors with any questions.

FULL TIME STUDIO MANAGER, Maine College of Art, 2013 - 2016
Work included: making clay, formulating and making glazes and slips. Firing gas kilns and electric kilns as well as repairing them. Fixing malfunctioning electric wheels. Taking inventories of all clay and glaze materials. Building and placing orders as well as organizing deliveries.

Gallery and Store
Lilstreet Center for Clay Gallery Store.
Worcester Center for Crafts Gallery Store.
TMA Museum Gallery Store.

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