Ian F. Thomas spent his formative years in the foothills of Western Pennsylvania on family farm ground. It was in this verdant and rugged setting that he honed his tendencies toward the arts. An inquisitive child, Ian spent much time alone in the woods and fields around the farmstead fostering his appreciation of nature and its juxtaposition with modern objects. This early focus on the man/nature dichotomy coupled with the childhood innocence of imagination, toys and simple play has carried through to his current work and is still evident in his contemporary projects.
He earned his BFA in Ceramic and Painting studies at Slippery Rock University and an MFA in Ceramics at Texas Tech University where he further explored his interest in sculpture, printmaking and paint while incorporating all of these mediums into his current portfolio. During his time at Slippery Rock, Ian had the opportunity to study abroad at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava Slovakia. In addition, Ian served an assistantship with Edward Eberle and has had opportunities to study with James Watkins. Most recient was a study in a residency at the Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen China in May of 2007.
Ian’s teaching and workshop experience includes instructing at the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Library Extension Program, Summer Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Slippery Rock University and a visiting artist workshop at Houston Baptist University.
His work has been shown nationally, internationally and is part of several private collections. Selected images have also been published in 500, Tiles(Spring 2008), 500 Pitchers, 500 Animals, Screenprint Basics and Image Transfer on Clay.