Theo Uliano

Teaching Artist - Past

Artist Statement:

My pottery celebrates the common things in everyday life.  Initially the forms must work; comfort, design and function are primary concerns.  Beyond the functionality of the form, naive drawings and quotes are incorporated on the wares’ surfaces. The drawings are simple narratives that are derived from my everyday life.  Many are quotes from people around me or from figures in popular culture and usually there is an underlying commentary or satiric twist.  There is something absurd in placing words containing slang and foul language on a handmade coffee mug.  This juxtaposition of the common-everyday against the formal traditions found in ceramics intrigues me.

The combination of naive illustrations and gaudy decals on the pots brings them into the territory of being trite, cliché or obnoxious.  Some illustrations are cute and some sinister, some can be taken at face value and some are subversive.  I aim to project our immediate daily culture onto the surface and into the narratives on my pots.  I want this representation of daily life to be complete with all of its trends, fashions, and fleeting anecdotes.  My work is intended to evoke feelings of irony, humor, and curiosity through daily interaction with the ware.


Teaching Philosophy:

I thoroughly enjoy teaching, with all of its evolving challenges and rewards.  I am energized by a fast-paced environment and the social, cultural, and intellectual stimulation found in teaching in a hands-on studio-workshop setting.



A lifelong native of the Philadelphia area Theo Uliano, completed his MFA in Ceramics at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia in 2011, after earning his BFA in Ceramics at Kutztown University in Pennsylvannia in 2007. His loose, satirical cartoons and drawings, commenting on everyday life on functional ware have recently attracted a following. Theo was recently working as an “Artist in Residence” and assistant in Lisa Naples’ Studio in Doylestown, Pennsylvania while lecturing and exhibiting nationally. Theo was a former Studio Technician at The Clay Studio, where he is currently an instructor.