Joseph StaronVail , Colorado
Tom Radca is an excellent artist who has a wonderful freedom with clay. I really enjoyed his workshop, he has the ability to facilitate your desire to explore and push you to new limits - A rich,fun and positive experience
John M. MichaelGurnee , Illinois
Interactive, concerned, creative, assertive, multi-dimensional, humorous and dedicated (to his expertise and arts in general) are descriptions of and interpretations of Tom Radca. I spent a full week with Tom and opened up my world just a little more. I saw one of the hardest workers, one who appreciates his vision and held his world travels as part of who he is.
After a long day of travel, I spent the balance of the day exploring the ranch and studios. Curiosity was getting the best of me, as I did not want to wait til tomorrow. In only a few hours on the first full day, I could tell this was going to be an experience! I was up early and continued the explorations into his finished pieces arranged outside and inside, now I was really looking forward to getting started.
He explained his throwing techniques and got down to work. First hour we each threw 4 - 20” (12lb) platters in a very loose form. Throughout the week, I managed to throw nearly 15 pieces and 4 tile projects. We spent over a day working on glazing. Never in my wildest dreams could I feel so comfortable splashing slip and glazing. The results were beyond expectations
We had discussions of world travels; artists we have met compared experimentation in forms and finishes. This class is beyond the “same old” taught at local Jr. College or University. It becomes a reality check with our lives, becomes a crossroad in a potters’ direction if you want it to be. I am glad to be friend of Tom Radca and will be looking forward to my return to the ranch. (have 6 pieces to glaze).
Since returning home to reality, I have worked with new glazes, firing temps, loose throwing and searching for molds & stamps. I am actively making a change to functional pots by adding color, stamping, free flow and more appreciation.
To intern at the Radca Ranch was much more than I thought it would be. I had studied with several established ceramic artists in the past, and I must say that working with Tom at his studios and on the road is one of the greatest opportunities I have ever taken hold of. Tom has become more than my internship host; he has become my teacher, my support and my friend.
Our daily routine usually entails the creation of tile pieces – usually large ones – from wet clay to mounted stellar beauty. Tom and Margit took me under their wings and allowed me to watch, learn and help in every step of the process. Some of these larger pieces, especially the commissioned installations that we have worked on together, can take days to weeks to finish. When a large project like this is at hand it is always our main focus but we are always working on multiple pieces at a time. Tom and Margit taught me how to hammer out the clay, cut it into tiles, and properly dry, clean and fire them. Tom taught me his glaze and his glazing techniques and Margit taught me all the wonderful ways that they pull the aesthetics together. I learned how to fire the kilns Tom’s way and how to stack, prepare and mount the tiles. No aspect of the process is boring or taunting and I must say that anyone who has fancied the idea of joining in his process at the school would be a fool not to; anyone who has not yet fancied participating in their projects should strongly consider this: an opportunity to work with good people like Tom and Margit would be shameful to pass up.
Tom never forgot to remind me of my personal goals. Many days we sat side by side at his wheels and threw together. He taught me how to throw large and loose, his favorite techniques, and how to experiment with different forms that I had never thought I was capable of creating with my own hands. The studio is always full of music and laughter and we are always bouncing new ideas off of each other. It is such a wonderful place to work and such a beautiful place to be inspired and practice. Truly to work alongside amazing artists like these leaves one motivated and excited for the next day.
Some of the other tasks that were completed during my internship were running the social media networks for Tom, creating newsletters and advertising his events, preparing for and going to art shows and hosting open houses at Tom’s property. All of these opportunities were fulfilled and enjoyable. The amount of networking and experience that I had received in one short semester has only left me enthralled for the next opportunities.
One of the best parts of working at the Radca Ranch is that Tom has goals. He has a young spirit and a lively attitude and he is eager to teach others what he knows while still learning himself. He is always looking forward, always thinking about tomorrow and the next week and what else we can do to make things bigger, brighter and better. These aspirations are his, but not selfishly. Tom’s goals are set to make things better for everyone: for you, for me, for his community, and for the world.
I had the very good fortune to enroll in a Ceramics class at Colorado Mountain College this summer. It was taught by Tom Radca whom I stumbled upon at the CMC-Edwards Colorado Art Fair. His art immediately appealed to me for its bold composition and wide breadth incorporating transcultural elements from his international experiences.
Tom is an excellent instructor who utilized his philosophy of “large and loose” in assisting students to improve throwing large. In addition he shared a lot of very useful information on composing and applying glaze “loosely” and elements of the firing process. This was certainly the best ceramic workshop I have experienced. In addition to being a skilled artist and interesting person, Tom is fun to work with, inspiring and very helpful in homing in on the level of need of the student. I look forward to attending additional workshops run by Tom in the future.