This site is about the work of Tom Hatton, and he is not fond of talking about his work. He is an observant, out-spoken, knowledgeable, and, to be blunt, gossipy talker, but he feels his work speaks for itself. Since we have been best friends and occasional enemies since I was eleven and he was thirteen, I will attempt to fill in some history and any other information I think might be of interest. I can say that Tom appears to think in swoops and twirls, coming out someplace that I, trudging along in a straight line, could never find with my feet on the ground. So he surprises me. Always.
Tom was born in Hawaii in 1944 to a Portuguese mother and a farm boy father from Georgia. Growing up barefoot on the beaches of Waikiki was an idyllic beginning followed by a year on the farm where he developed a passion for grits and huge hogs.
He grew up in San Diego and attended San Diego State College receiving first his BA and then his MA in sculpture with a master's show featuring among other things, the Bank of America on the back of a pig. (It was during the Vietnam War.) He married me, Diane Chase, and taught art classes part-time at San Diego State and the various local junior colleges. We had two children, Carlson and Alana, and I taught elementary school.
In 1983, we were introduced to the American Craft Council shows and Tom found a ready audience for his work in galleries and stores across the country. While it forced him to be a little more commercial than he would have liked, it served us well, enabling us to work together and put the children through school.
In 1995, we chose to let the people who had worked for us, seven of them at the busiest, go on to other things and we pared the line down so that Tom was not doing so much repetition and more one-of-a-kind work. It is still exciting and he's always working on something new. He still never talks about what he is making and it is always a surprise when I see a completed work. It's fun.
Everybody should be so lucky as we've been and there's always tomorrow! We hope that you enjoy the website and we look forward to hearing from you!
Tom & Diane Hatton