GILLIE NICHOLLS BA Hons
Born in Stoke-on-Trent ("with clay in my veins").
In 1981, I graduated from North Staffs Polytechnic, having studied pottery under Derek Emms. He combined the influence of Japanese art - gleaned from his own teacher, Bernard Leach - with a thorough approach to understanding clay's various glazes and firing techniques.
For almost forty years I have combined two careers - that of a professional musician and potter from my own studio in Stafford.
I've spent many years of mixing clays and glazes, learning the craft of building and firing complex shapes alongside simple functional wares, during the summer of 2017, I happened upon sculpture. I quickly realised that I already had all of the essential technical ability, there at my fingertips.
I have always loved the anthropomorphic quality of hand-thrown pottery and in recent years (since that sculpting epiphany), I have begun to explore the synthesis of pots and human form through clay portraiture. The foray has propelled me on a new and compelling journey, joining up all my inspirational dots.
My ambition is to create a powerful body of work that hints at the human experience through heads, faces, gestures and movements, capturing personality and creating a full blown family of characters expressed in clay.
Alongside the sculptural portraits, I wish to make a direct correlation between drawn observation and its influence on the character and shape of the thrown bowl.