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About Tom

A South County native, I first took a pottery class after graduating from high school. I immediately loved throwing clay on the potter's wheel, drawing inspiration from pieces I saw in museums. This attraction to clay and fire ultimately led me to major in Art with a concentration in ceramics at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, where I began selling my pottery through the college book store. After graduating in 1976 I returned home and started Stone Tower Pottery in Wakefield, RI.

Following my "make it myself or fix it" philosophy, I completely rebuilt a 1971 Datsun pickup, built a potters wheel, a downdraft drain oil fired kiln, and started making and selling utilitarian pottery. My studio was the original kitchen of my parents Stanford White "summer house". There was no gallery. If people wanted to see my work, it was by appointment only, or at the art shows and fairs where I sold my work. I also sold through commissions, consignment sales, wholesale to galleries, and for several years had a sales rep. I was willing to try anything.

I spent a lot of time in those early years experimenting: playing with form, clay and glaze materials, and firing temperature and length. I've always believed, that the only way to understand clay and to get good at the ceramic arts, is to make a lot of pieces, and acquire encyclopedic knowledge. These experiments led me towards raku, pit-firing, salt-glazing, and lately wood firing, which have become my preferred styles.

In 1984 after searching extensively for a place where I could both make and sell my work directly to the public, I founded Thomas Ladd Pottery in Peace Dale, RI, my current location. Here I have a gallery space, my studio with my potter's wheels, as well as outdoor space for my raku, soda, and wood fired kilns. My garden is out back and I live next door with my wife Cindy. I have three children. I enjoy surfing, bicycling, windsurfing, and especially kitesurfing in strong wind and big waves.

I hope you have a chance to stop by my gallery and see my work. I welcome both patrons of my wares as well as those with an interest in the potter's art.