Photo: Ailsa Nicholson in Whitby, Yorkshire

Ailsa Nicholson

Artist, Maker

Concepts Ailsa graduated from Cardiff University in 1999 with a first class honours degree in Ceramics. Her work experiments with a wide variety of decorative wheel thrown pieces and handbuilt sculptures which concentrate on form rather than function and explore both negative and positive space and the movement suggested within those spaces. Clay is never weighed and work is always cut freehand to ensure each piece's individuality. Ailsa also make larger scale sculptures produced through a variety of techniques. These abstract pieces are inspired largely by her fascination with the secret world of microbiology, a vast and bizarre world offering and inexhaustible supply of imagery, which complements the subtle metaphoric associations she wishes to make. Recent work explores the throwing and carving of clay and celebrates the colour of the clay itself finishing with a clear glaze and colbalt inlay or smoke firing with salts and oxides. The use of dichroic glass fired and fused to the ceramic gives the pieces an individual and jewel like quality. Much of Ailsa's work is experimental as she thrives on the technical challenges involved in the process of ceramics. The thought and technical process is as inspiring as the forms themselves, and her work is constantly moving and changing as she pushes the boundaries and the possiblities of clay. Influences Artistic, technical, architectural, biological, psychological, social, sculptural Career path I originally studied psychology with the Open University whilst working as a counsellor. A strong passion for ceramics (discovered at evening classes) led me to study full-time at Cardiff University, where I attained a First Class Honours Degree in 1999. After graduating I moved back to the Whitby area in North Yorkshire where I set up a studio. I exhibit nationally and have undertaken many private commissions. read full statement

Location Whitby, Yorkshire
Activities Private commissions, Exhibitions programme, Collection, Gallery education
Artforms / type of project Project, Ceramics, Glass, Mixed Media, Sculpture
Tags Ceramics, Sculpture, Smoke fired, Wheel thrown, Ceramic Artist, Pottery, Clay, Handbuilt

News & Events

  • Art in the Gardens

    06/09/2014 – 07/09/2014
    Sheffield Botanical Gardens

    Art Festival within the grounds of Sheffield botanical gardens. Selected Arts as well as performing arts stage and children's activities.

    Find out more

  • The Staithes Festival of Arts and Heritage

    12/09/2014 – 13/09/2014
    4a Cowbar, Staithes, Whitby, North Yorkshire

    Art and music festival in the beautiful sea side village of Staithes, North Yorkshire. All the cottages are open for selected Artists to exhibit and sell their work.

    Find out more

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