Our January laurel is awarded to Nicolette Johnson for her stoneware vase with mesmerising handles.
✿ What were the challenges in making this vase?
Vases with intricate handles are always an interesting challenge for me, technically and aesthetically. The puzzle of where to position the handles so that the vase is visually balanced, as well as timing the attachment so that the clay is stiff enough to hold its shape but not so brittle that I can’t make adjustments to it, these are things I continue to learn and improve on every time I make something like this!
✿ Can you describe where you work, both the space and the setting?
I make my work in a small spare room at the back of the home we rent in Meanjin (Brisbane). It is a tight space but bright and comfortable, enough to hold me and my wheel and a few shelves. The house is an old cottage on stilts that backs onto a creek, and outside the windows of my studio I can see trees in all directions, something I have always been very grateful for. My kiln is situated under the house, along with dozens of large plastic bins full of different glazes, and this is where I glaze and fire my work.
Nicolette was born in London, England in 1990, grew up in Texas, USA, and today is based in Brisbane, Australia. She works on a wheel with stoneware. Nicolette has also worked as a freelance photographer.
“The tactile nature of clay is a wonderful counterpoint to what I do as a day job, which involves a lot of sitting at the computer… I love throwing on the wheel. It’s almost magic watching the clay move into the place it’s meant to be… I’m really inspired by simplicity, modernism, the American Southwest, and Native American pottery shapes.”
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