Nicola’s present work is individually hand-built using coiling and slabbing to create pots, bowls or pebble shaped forms. Decoration and pattern are produced by a variety of smoke-firing techniques.
“Tired of the constraints of slip-casting and glazes I have been searching for a freer way of working. An admiration of contemporary smoke-fired pots and a recent trip to Malawi, working with Malawian potters, have been central to my new way of working. These potters can create the most beautiful pot from a lump of unpromising looking clay using the minimum of tools and then fire them using whatever sources of combustible fuel is to hand. I try to maintain these traditional methods when hand building and firing my pots but strive for a contemporary look in both form and surface design.”
The pot forms reflect Nicola’s interest in the pottery of the ancient Greeks, Celts as well as Indian and African traditional pottery today. The surfaces and colours of the pots are reminiscent of old Greek or Venetian houses with the paint peeling away whilst the patterns are acquired from the natural world around us: shells, fossils, leaves, animal skins.
Nicola trained at Wolverhampton Polytechnic and acquired a BA Hons in 3D Design, Ceramics in 1982 and has had several successful exhibitions and Gallery selections since restarting her ceramic career in 2004. She also combines pot making and exhibiting with work as a Tutor for Deaf Students at Warwickshire College.
Work Currently available from:
Bluestone Gallery, 8 Old Swan Yard, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 1AT Tel: 01380 729589 www.bluestonegallery.com
The Gallery Upstairs, Torquil Pottery, 81 High Street, Henley-in Arden, Warwickshire, B95 5AT Tel: 01564 792174 www.thegalleryupstairstorquil.co.uk
The Gallery at Bevere, Bevere Lane, Worcester, WR3 7RQ 01905 754 484
Tulips Gallery - 10a Broad Street, Lyme Regis, Dorset. 01297 445544
I am available for lectures and workshops.
Warwickshire Open Studios : Warwickshire Open Studios
June 27, 2015 to July 12, 2015
Open studio - Nicola Richards : Open studio - Nicola Richards - ceramics
July 09, 2015 to July 12, 2015
Nicola’s work is hand-built from white stoneware clay and decorated using coloured slips and body stains. The pieces are then burnished by rubbing with the back of a spoon and a piece of ‘fools’ gold to obtain a soft sheen. The work is initially fired to 950 degrees centigrade in an electric kiln. The final pattern is created by using a variety of resist techniques such as wax, tape or slip, and fired in sawdust in a metal vessel outside. The smoke from these firings impregnates the exposed clay body and creates the final surface design. The pieces are then polished with beeswax, which enhances the burnished surface.
2004 – Present Self Employed Potter, Leamington Spa
1987 – Present Tutor for Deaf Students
2000 – 2001 Workshop Ceramist, making encaustic tiles, Manor Ceramics, Warwick
1982 – 1886 Self Employed Potter, Hatton Craft Centre, Warwickshire
1979 - 1982 BA Hons Three Dimensional Design – Ceramics, Wolverhampton Polytechnic
2004 Joint exhibition Warwickshire Arts Week - Walton Gallery, The Old Stables, Walton Village, Warwickshire.
2005 Where I Fell in Love Gallery - Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire
2005 Verve - Group exhibition with seven artists - Walton Gallery, Warwickshire
2006 Where I Fell in Love Gallery - Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire
2006 July seven@work Group Exhibition - Warwickshire Arts Week –Jephson Gardens L/ Spa
2006 – Oxford Studio Ceramics Show – organised by Craft Potters’ Association, St Edward School, Oxford
2007 Visual Arts Exhibition – Stratford Civic Hall – Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations
2007 Gallery Upstairs Summer Exhibition – Torquil Pottery, Henley in Arden, Warwickshire
November 2006 – May 2008 ‘Made in the Middle’ exhibition of 37 makers of contemporary craft touring Art Galleries throughout the Midlands – a collaboration between Craftspace and Rugby Art Gallery & Museum
July 2007 Where I Fell in Love Gallery ‘Cup & Saucer Exhibition’ Shipston on Stour, Warwickshire
July 2007 Leamington Studio Artist – Summer Exhibition Warwickshire College, www.lsa-artists.co.uk
15th March - 12th April 2008 - Gold, threads and fire Exhibition touring to Bilston Gallery Bilston Craft Gallery Mount Pleasant, Bilston, WV14 7LU Tel: 01902 552507, firstname.lastname@example.org.
14th Nov 2007 – 17th June 2008 ‘Made in the Middle’ touring exhibition of new works in contemporary craft from the West Midlands – a collaboration between Craftspace and Rugby Art Gallery. www.craftspace.co.uk