Jean and Tom
Tom and Jean Latka have been professional artists for more than thirty years. They first popped the kiln door on their ceramic careers in 1976 when they moved to Pueblo, Colorado. Tom, a native of Southern California, completed his ceramic undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of California at Fullerton. Jean, born and raised in the Chicago area, was a forester by education, graduating from the University of Colorado. Together they embarked on what they considered to be an adventuresome endeavor: becoming studio artists.
Their first work centered on functional pottery where they made a wide variety of bowls, vases, mugs, pitchers and dinnerware. Though Tom has gravitated to the larger public art commissions, the functional world of pottery remains a major component of Jean’s career and expressions. In 2000 Tom introduced the melting of glass in the high fire kiln and this opened up a new avenue of exploration and possibilities in their work. Since then, glass has become a recurring material in the public art projects and Jean has expanded into the making of fused glass curtains. Their latest commission will now delve into the mysteries of powder coating, a process where colored enamels are applied electrostatically to metal and then cured under heat to allow it to flow and form a “skin.” No doubt, this will prove to be another jumping off point for the Latka’s.