Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, Tom Norulak attended Carnegie Mellon University and received his BFA degree in 1971. After living in Philadelphia for about 5 years, he returned to Pittsburgh in late1977 and has made Southwestern Pennsylvania his home ever since.
During the 1980’s Tom established a successful commercial screen printing business. He began his active career as an exhibiting artist printmaker during the early 1990’s. His work has been exhibited throughout the Pittsburgh area as well as in selected national shows at well respected galleries, museums, universities and art centers. He has taught printmaking at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts for over 25 years. He has also taught at Seton Hill University, Carnegie Mellon University Pre-College program, Carnegie Museum of Art and has been a guest instructor and lecturer at other schools and local art groups.
1. debris or discarded material
2. fragments of rock that have been worn away
3. organic debris formed by the decomposition of plants and animals
As a printmaker, my imagery of the last several years has been of natural and man-made objects which have been altered over the course of time by their interaction with the elements. The subject could be rocks and debris along a riverbank or a hiking trail, an uprooted tree trunk, driftwood, a truck tire, or an inner tube or dead fish washed up on the shores of Lake Erie. It could be abandoned machinery rusting in the woods or architectural vestiges of the past.
I start by taking photographs of these phenomena, and use the following process to transform them into black and white etchings. Laser prints of the photo images are transferred onto a zinc plate with a solvent, and then etched in nitric acid. Using traditional printmaking techniques such as aquatint, open bites, scraping, and burnishing, the images acquire abstract or surreal qualities, bearing little resemblance to the original photos.
See more of Thomas' work here.