Adam was born in Mason, Ohio in the fall of 1981. As a youth he excelled at digging holes and playing in the mud in the corner of an area affectionately known as “the brickyard.” Many summer days were spent with his friends building and rebuilding objects out of bricks. Creative ideas and tinkering were brought on by a father who was an oil painter.
While working on a bachelor’s degree at Miami University of Ohio, Adam stumbled into Denis Tobin’s ceramics studio and found something he was able to relate to. Schooling had always been less than interesting, but ceramics held a combination of history, chemistry and hands-on practice that was immediately attractive. After undergrad Adam moved down south and started graduate school at the University of Mississippi, studying under Matt Long. A few years and many tons of clay later, Adam received an MFA.
Soon after, Adam relocated to St. Petersburg, FL to be an Artist-In-Residence at the St. Petersburg Clay Company. In the fall of 2010 Adam and Matt Schiemann purchased SPCC and worked to propel the studio to higher levels and bring in new talented Artists-In-Residence each year. March 2014 saw the merger of SPCC and the Morean Center for Clay.
Adam still resides in St Petersburg with his wife, Melissa, and his dogs, Alien and Sassafras. He currently manages studio operations for the Morean Center for Clay and is an adjunct instructor at Eckerd College.
For me, vessel making is about passion and energy. I create pieces that start with logical representation based on historical forms and pottery. Each piece begins with a foot or a flat bottom, and has a spout and handle added when necessary. My main method for creating is coil building. Using a slow-motion building process allows for subtlety and nuance to develop in the work—details which faster processes might blow-by.
Colors are manipulated by using low fire glazes, commercial and homemade recipes, and over-firing to higher temperatures. This includes electric and wood firings, with some soda and salt. Firing the work to these temperatures distorts the natural colors I start with. This distortion, forced onto the viewer, mimics my own battles with colorblindness. People are often surprised to hear that I am colorblind, since color features prominently in my work. I choose saturated colors that fade, melt and change the viewer’s perceptions. Is that glaze really green and not red? Juggling with the “true” color through multiple layers of glaze reminds me of sitting in the doctor’s office as a child and having to look at color charts.