Timothy Sullivan, Potter
Timothy creates wheel-thrown and altered porcelain pottery. The pieces are then trailed and sprayed with glazes and reduction fired to cone 10 with some pieces electric re-fired to cone 04 for color development.
I received my BFA from Carnegie-Mellon University in ceramics and painting in 1972, and my MFA in ceramics from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago in 1975. The 2001 Great Gulfcoast Art Festival was the first festival I attended, and the first time that I had shown work of any kind since the late 1970s. After graduation I had part-time jobs and maintained various studios working with mixed-media sculpture, wood, or clay.
From 1983 to late 2000, I stopped working as an artist or craftsman and was entirely focused on a career in IT, holding jobs as varied as typewriter repairman, computer sales, manager, ComputerLand franchisee, network engineer, and IT executive. In October of 2000, I made the decision to return to clay, and pursue a full time career as a potter.
I have no regrets over the years that I spent in business. Much of that time was exciting and rewarding, and I learned many things which I believe have helped me significantly as a potter-designer craftsman. I learned to appreciate an elegant solution to a complex problem, and how to approach the technical hurdles that are so frequent in ceramics, and I learned patience.
While the financial benefits from Corporate America can be significant, this work that I do now provides me with a different set of rewards, which feel more lasting and more meaningful. I am continually delighted when I see my customers and they tell me how much the work means to them, or how much they have enjoyed having it in their lives. It’s not enough to simply make work and put it in a corner, it must be shared.