Gallery – Change to ‘Observations and Interpretations’ Exhibition Opens
Gillie Nicholls BA Hons. Born in Stoke-on-Trent, (clay in the veins).
I graduated in 1981 from North Staffordshire Polytechnic, where I studied Pottery under Derek Emms. Derek combined the influence of Japanese Art (gleaned from his own teacher Bernard Leach), with a thorough approach to understanding clays glazes and firing techniques.
For almost forty years I have combined two careers: that of professional musician and potter, working from my studio in Stafford.
After many years of mixing clay 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 all of the essential technical ability was already there at my fingertips. I have always loved the anthropomorphic quality of hand thrown pots, and over the past two years, since my sculpting epiphany, I have begun to explore the synthesis of pots and human form through clay portraiture.
This foray into sculpture has propelled me on a new and compelling journey, joining all the inspirational dots.
. My ambition is to build a powerful new body of work that hints at the human experience through heads, faces, hands, their gestures and movement, capturing personality and creating a family of full blown characters, expressed in fired clay. Alongside these sculptural portraits I wish to draw a direct correlation between drawn observation and its influence on the character and shape of the thrown bowl.