Ceramics instructor Inspires Students Through Pottery-Making

Tom Vician

Tom Vician, full-time ceramics instructor at MCC for the past eight years, believes that clay can broaden an awareness of art making, enhance one’s life, and change the way one perceives the world all while learning and having fun. Vician's interest in both art and education began in high school and continued formally with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ceramics at Northern Michigan University, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in ceramics from Illinois State University.

Vician's curriculum at MCC is broad-based and is often described as both traditional and non-traditional, as his teaching relies on historically based ceramics while building on new ways of working with clay that lends itself to the success of a 21st century student. He helps students develop a portfolio of their own work and encourages advanced students develop a professional body of work, while assisting them to become independent professional artists.

 "I use a fresh approach to create meaningful, exciting and interesting art through wheel throwing, hand building and slip casting, with the prospect of unique surface ornamentation and firings," Vician said.

Vician said his ceramics classes involve much more than working with clay. Students gain a unique opportunity to positively interact with people of all ages in a welcome, friendly, and encouraging atmosphere that contributes to quality art making.

 "I'm connected to students in a unique way. For example, I help them with their portfolios and their pieces travel through my hands in some shape or form. It’s a unique connection," he said.

Former student Hope Coe-Pesek had a goal of opening a pottery studio and credits Vician for helping to make her dream a reality.

"After only two classes, Tom had me hooked. He is a great hands-on teacher and was always available for help. He taught me to push my limits and boundaries with clay. He taught me to think outside the box, use my inner creativity and to explore other cultures and how clay relates to each culture. Tom taught me that experimenting and trying new things whether it failed or worked is okay, he let me find out on my own. With the skills he has taught me, I push my limits everyday trying new techniques and procedures and I'm passing this along to my own students."

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