Instilled with an inquisitive nature, Thomas Hill considers form and questions the innate purpose of objects. Hill’s work in clay combines an interest in historic pottery from Europe, Korea, and Japan with an attraction to local materials found near his home in rural Indiana. His investment in these materials has led him to explore local environments in hopes of adding new clays and connections to his ceramic practice. Hill recently traveled to England to apprentice as a potter and is currently completing his degree in Art with a focus in ceramics at Earlham College. Upon graduation, he plans to establish a business in clay which has deep ties to the rich resources of land and life.
The Longer Story
Thomas Hill grew up in rural Indiana amid countless cornfields and landscapes rich in natural resources. Many days were spent wandering outside, enjoying what the countryside had to offer for a young boy full of curiosity. Growing up with parents who instilled in him an inquisitive spirit, Thomas constantly found himself tinkering with objects in order to find out how they worked, why they worked, and how they functioned beyond any obvious purpose. Alongside these personal hobbies, Thomas worked with his mom, dad, and brother on a myriad of construction projects required on their 52-acre farm.
During his senior year in high school, Thomas began working with wood as a craft material; assembling simple pieces of furniture using basic equipment on the farm. Whenever he had an idea, he’d spend hours up in the messy barn happily working and freely creating the items he dreamed up in his mind.
A year and a half later, Thomas took his first, formal art class in metalsmithing at Earlham College. Given his ever-intrinsic curiosity and need to tinker, Thomas spent hours working away on all projects that took his fancy. In these tireless hours spent immersed in creation, he realized that there was something to be had in a way of life centered around making. Rerouting from an intended course of study in Physics, Thomas switched his major to Art with an intention to fully engage his mind creatively. One year later, Thomas found his passion in clay and realized that this was the medium with which he wanted to devote a lifetime of exploration.
Thomas is currently working on his senior project at Earlham where he is combining his interest in historic forms of pottery found in Europe and Asia with his interest in local material sourcing. He is particularly invested in forming connections to his work through regional explorations of his physical environment. Thomas hopes to establish his own pottery business one day once he finds a landscape which provides him with the abundance of resources he requires for all facets of his daily life.