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Ceramicize It!

Teacher Nick Tomasic shares his life prior to finding his passion for teaching ceramics.

Lanie Render, Reporter

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The black wavy hair and collection of Hawaiian shirts encompass the eccentric and unique personality of ceramics teacher, Nick Tomasic.

To Tomasic, ceramics is more than just part of his job; it is his passion. Late nights keep him up creating clay and forming new project ideas for his students. Without an ounce of complaint, Tomasic provides a comfortable and creative environment in Room 609 for the ceramic celebration to continue.

“I try to create an environment in here that people want to be in,” Tomasic said. “There are so many things that are still fascinating to me or that I’m excited about related to ceramics and getting to share that with students is something I enjoy.”

Tomasic’s story starts in college, as many do, as he attempted to discover his passion and his future. At Kansas State University he found Yoshihiro, a ceramics legend originating from Eastern Asia. That pairing resulted in a door to the art world opening for Tomasic who was able to find his niche amongst the clay and tools.

“I met Yoshihiro and he was like a magician with clay, I took some classes there and now I’m still on the ride.” Tomasic said.

After applying to a variety of travel opportunities, Tomasic was accepted into a symposium with seven other American and eight Taiwanese students. From there, he was given the opportunity to travel to Asia and Europe, which was his first time outside of states.

Tomasic’s explorations to other countries allowed him to gather life lessons and experience the world through a new lens.

“I encourage people to travel when they’re younger because when you’re my age, you are not going to be going to China by yourself,” Tomasic said.

First he landed in the bustle of Japan, a country that never seems to stop, then found solace in a small rural town amongst the mountains. Tomasic experienced an array of new cultures and experiences on his travel. His master, Yoshi, taught him an array of lessons that sit in the back of Tomasic’s mind as he teaches his own students.

“It’s good to be uncomfortable and taken out of your comfort zone, and learn about other people…It changes your perspective,” Tomasic said.

Once Tomasic finished traveling, he decided to return home to Kansas City, Kan. After a variety of individuals telling him to consider a career in teaching, he gave in and started his teaching career. Now, his perspective on the career has changed completely as interacting with students has given him more than he could ask for.

“I see it [teaching] as something that is very rewarding, it is very rewarding to help students,” Tomasic said.

After 11 years, one of his ceramic companions, Terry Ensor, informed him of a job opening at BV West and encouraged him to pursue the position.

“I came out here and I was blown away,” Tomasic said. “I feel very fortunate to be here, this place is amazing.”

From there, the story of “Mr. T” at BV West began. The soulful music and hearty laugh floods the art wing as a new, lovable art teacher joins the ranks.

“I like how he [Tomasic] let’s us make our own things but he still helps us if we need help, and how he taught us the different techniques used by different cultures,” junior Paige Ennis said.

With patience and dedication, Tomasic guides students down the journey of creating with clay, an entirely new concept to many. Whether it be throwing on the wheel or extracting clay to create a masterpiece, Tomasic is awed by the beauty and unique qualities of the practice.

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