Tom Cote

Tom doesn’t waste alot of time with idle chit-chat…but he makes you feel like you’re welcome to stay as long as you’d like…like an old friend.  In all the years he’s been with us at Fiber College, we can’t get him to give us good images of his work…I’ve tried begging, chiding, coaxing and pushing…I think he ignores me when it suits him…I guess that’s OK when you’re as accomplished and charming as Tom is.

You’ll need to come and take a class or watch him work during the weekend…this year he’ll be teaching two classes:  A full day Thursday class in Carving Wood Blocks for Printing and Carving Wood Spirits on Saturday morning.

Presumably you’ve been an artist all your life…when and how did you decide to label yourself as one? Probably when I finished my art degree and started teaching which was about 37 years.

If your life were a box of paints…would you be pastel colors, jewel tones, flesh tones or black, white and shades of grey? I would be back and white.

Tell us about your first attempts to be creative. My first attempts to be creative was when I was 8 or 9 when I used to draw a lot, especially flowers from my mothers flower beds.

If you could have any mode of transportation in the world…how would you get from place to place? By helicopter

What is your favorite art related book? Carving and Whittling by E.J. Tangerman

Do you make a living with your art? Sometimes

What is your preferred environment when you’re in a creative mood? An area with natural light and old rocking roll music

What do you wish you could do? I wish I could go to China and study with some of the traditional carvers of today.

If you were forced to give up your current artistic medium, what medium would you pursue next?


What is your favorite art related website?

Maine Arts Commission

National Wood Carvers Association

Name five adjectives that best describe you at your best:

Laid back, driven, traditional, old fashion, sharp

Are you currently working in “the perfect” studio? No!!

What does your perfect creative space look like? It would probably be built out of logs with a lot of windows on south east side. Probably 3 floors with a cellar and 50′ by 50′.

What would we find in the drawers and cabinets? Drills, hand held tools, paints, everything under the sun.

With the tap of a magic wand, you can go anywhere and study with anyone…time is of no essence…what are you doing and with whom? China and study with traditional carvers of today.

When was the last time you laughed at yourself? Today

How many projects do you generally have going at one time? 5 to 10

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