Adam Musto fell in love with art and ceramics at Crystal Springs Uplands School under the guidance of Jim Garrison. From there he dabbled with clay at Occidental College while focusing on metal sculpture with George Baker. Adam furthered his art studies with the likes of Joeseph Piasentin, Avery Falkner and Bob Privitt, at Pepperdine University where he earned a BFA in 1990 with a concentration in painting and photography.
After a few years of banging metal, painting and shooting pictures in San Francisco, Adam enrolled in the Graduate Metalsmithing program at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. While at Cranbrook Adam studied with Gary Griffin and polished his metalworking skills, earning an MFA in 1996.
After graduation Adam returned to northern California and opened Occidental copper, a metal design studio specializing in custom furnishings for home and garden. In 1999 he moved his operation from Occidental, CA. joining Tim Rose in the newly established Coal Shed Art Studios on historic Mare Island in Vallejo, CA. In addition to operating the studio, Adam returned to school to earn a teaching credential. After completing the program at Chapman University in 2001, he taught initially at Armijo High School in Fairfield, CA. and subsequently at River Middle and, for eight years, at Shearer Elementary in Napa, CA.
Now in his second decade of teaching art, Adam is the ceramics instructor at American Canyon High School in American Canyon, CA. After years without access to clay, glazes, kilns and such, Adam is like, “a kid in a candy store,” and is actively rekindling a long lost romance with ceramics. Utilizing techniques borrowed from the metalworking craft, Adam forms and hammers stoneware vessels over carved wooden molds. This technique enables Adam to create textures and patterns reminiscent of those found in his metalwork. And, like the patinas he uses to color his metals, Adam enjoys creating glaze combinations that both enhance his designs while emphasizing each pieces’ unique textures.
In addition to forming colorful, functional, electric-fired stoneware bowls and such, Adam enjoys creating Japanese style pottery and sculptural pieces that are atmospheric fired in soda, salt and wood-fired kilns. These pieces tend to be more organic in form and coloration due to the natural ash glazes deposited in the firing process.