Tom Philabaum received a B.A. in Art and Education from Southern Illinois University in 1969, and then joined the innovative Glass Program at the University of Wisconsin studying under Harvey Littleton. He completed a Master’s degree in 1973 before moving to Tucson, where he built his own glass-blowing studio, and earned an M.F.A. in ceramics from the University of Arizona. He has been a working artist since that time, as well as starting Philabaum Glass Gallery in 1982, where he has curated exhibitions ever since.