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Category Archives: Ceramic

nichola theakston: sensitive animal portraiture

This post is for my daughter. . .lover and protector of animals small and large, near and far.

It’s easy to see that UK artist Nichola Theakston possesses a sensitivity and awareness of animals.


She explore their feelings and expressions  – most recently primates – through ceramic portraiture. Thought Provoking. Bold. Oh-Those-Faces.


“The notion that an individual creature may experience some ‘otherness’ or spiritual dimension beyond our understanding of its instinctive animal behaviors is the premise behind these works, and portraiture the vehicle I use to explore feeling and expression. Primates are an obvious and compelling choice of subject, and it is important to me that they are sculpted with sensitivity and empathy inviting the viewer to relate and reflect.”


Sculptures are coil built or fabricated from a single sheet of clay. Terracotta earthenware is Theakston’s clay of choice and she blends this with flax fibers. The fibers strengthen the thin sheets and large figures. A modern version of paper clay, the fibers burn away in the kiln, having served their purpose.


Although she has focused much of her recent work on primates, the artist’s portfolio boasts a variety of animals, all begging to be understood.






The photo above shows one of her sheet forms in progress. Theakston supports the clay with a single rod attached to an armature, which is removed before the piece is finished. She paints the sculptures with slips before drying and firing.

Nichola Theakston

cj jilek: porcelain biomorphic forms

CJ Jilek’s biomorphic ceramic forms seemed like a fitting complement to yesterday’s post about Linda Threadgill’s fantastical flower brooches. Both artists create bold statement pieces and use botanical forms as a stepping off point in their work.



Inspired by the sensuality of the natural world, Jilek’s porcelain and mixed media sculptures question ideas of beauty, attraction and desire. She recognized that the easily viewed reproductive elements of botanical forms serve as a metaphor for human sexuality, thus coaxing the viewer to explore these ideas using a universal visual language. The forms are bold and beautiful.



“Eliminating the presence of stems, leaves, and roots removes the physical context of the plants allowing the viewer to focus on the form specifically in terms of its sexuality. The exaggerated form of the stamens and pistils creates a visual language making direct correlations between the botanical forms and characteristics of the human body. These biomorphic forms are designed to lead the viewer to a subconscious association between nature and human instinct of attraction.”

CJ Jilek’s website

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marta armada: porcelain protection

“White, black and red porcelain with silver that surrounds and protects an intimate and personal backbone.” Mmmmmmm. . .I like the way Marta Armada thinks.




Do you need one of her Espinas pieces as a reminder?










Marta Armada’s website

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