Artizen Magazine

Artizen 3-3

An interactive magazine featuring interviews with artisan creators of everything from food and wine to clothing, fine art and jewelry. Live links for directly shopping from the best artisans around the globe.

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Page 14 of 60

The Man who Saw the Trees and Created a Forest by Rob Cole Talking with Tom Laudenslager is like spending the afternoon in a dappled-light forest. It is a quiet, yet exhilarating place, and you can feel a sacred reverence for life, for nature, for the earth, and especially for trees. It isn't entirely clear where Tom's love of trees began, but it is certain that he feels a deep, almost solemn connection to them. And, that spiritual connection is evident in his artwork. He calls his current body of work bonsai-inspired clay vases. Some of them have little of the vase form left and are almost purely sculptural. As a kid, Tom was the only member of his family who wasn't a natural musician. "But, I couldn't stop drawing," he says. At the age of 11 he entered a pastel drawing in an art show and won a $25 gift certificate. "I knew then that this is something I could do for my work." ger While creating was Tom's first love, in college he majored in art education because his dad insisted that he choose something he could use to make a living. Art education meant that he got to take classes in all the different media the college offered including drawing, painting, sculpture, jewelry making, and in his senior year, photography. After graduation he taught photography for a decade and then got a job teaching high school ceramics. It suits him well - he's now in his 29th year at the school. While teaching supports his family, Tom is now happy about that "education" side to his art degree. He is convinced that the interaction with his students is what keeps his own work fresh and evolving. 15

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