About Kilian & his work
It is here at “Kilianware” that the “old” is also giving way to the ”new".
18 year old Thomas Albert Kilian III and his family arrived in Columbia, N.C. eleven years ago, February 2003. The spring presented new opportunities for Thomas and his twin sister, Helen to experience creations and creatures that are indigenous to the Inner Banks. Kilian remembers being inspired by the crayfish’s ability to create a cylinder shape, he immediately severed the “chimneys” that the crayfish built, and dried them on planks of wood. To him they were pieces of art. He began digging his own clay, playing around with it, and took interest in pottery almost immediately. While Kilian has not been the only potter to be inspired by nature, he is one of the few North Carolina potters outside of Seagrove to specifically host a gallery, studio and website of his own. In July 2009, Our State Magazine featured an article on the Kilian family entitled “ Banking on Art” reporting his families quest to stimulate an artistic economy in the Inner Banks by launching a website that promotes Artists work in the region entitled IBXarts.org . People began to take particular notice of Kilian when he demonstrated his Heritage Pottery on a kick wheel at Historical Somerset Plantation in Creswell. Susan Kluttz, Secretary of North Carolina’s Department of Cultural Resources has visited his booth during the states “Second Saturday’s” event and made a purchase for her collection. Knowing how influential Ms. Susan is and the interest she took in his work was an affirmation to him that he was helping the state preserve something significant. A major difference in Kilian’s work has been based in authenticity. He develops his own glazes and has been unfettered by conventional training. Having a host of natural and historical items among the Inner banks farmstead environment, serves as a wellspring of inspiration that cultivates a personal approach that is uncommon. To date, Kilianware has reached homes in Florida, Ohio, California, Kenya & South Sudan. Ironically his modern design pottery is actually inspired by observations of ancient world pottery. Kilian has two pieces that had been entered in a International Ceramics Festival, Mino Japan. The piece entitled “ Alexander” (which made the first cut) explores "Culture dominance” and is a Fusion of the Alexandrian conquest combining Persian and Egyptian influences. and a friendly and familiar piece entitled “Cowboys and Indians deals with the culture clash and tension between Native American pottery and pioneer folk art design.
In the past 11 years he has explored ceramics from Pennsylvania (U.S.A.), Staffordshire (UK), Ancient Egypt; South Sudan, Ancient Persia, Japan; ex. This exploration in history and knowledge, comes out in his work. Kilian works are "remixes" of old and new, or in other words, historic and modern. Pottery has been in this world every since the creation of man. He finds it astonishing that the principles of throwing clay vessels has not changed; however, only a few methods has. Pottery is what enables us to date civilizations, without it some would be unknown as to their era. With pottery we can read their stories of yore.