Laura McNicholas - Nettleton Pottery

Having initially studied Fine Art at Reading University Laura’s passion to share her love for sculpture and ceramics led her to continue her education at Edge Hill University where she graduated as a teacher of art and design. After 13 years teaching sculpture, ceramics, and fine art to pre-degree students, sharing her time between artist and educator, she now works as a full-time ceramic artist in her garden studio in West Lancashire.

Working in porcelain to create sculptural forms and bowls, her work celebrates something of the northern landscape that surrounds her but is also steeped in her family history.

'A common creativity threads throughout my family history, and it is this legacy that has helped to shape and inspire me in my own creative practice. Three incredibly creative, talented, and resilient women living in different eras and environments all shared a love of making. Given their social backgrounds, they never had the opportunity to fully explore their creativity, but their crocheted and lace pieces have been preciously saved and now I am privileged to be able to use them to help tell a story through my work and celebrate their lives.

 

I am a collector and retriever often repurposing treasured objects that I collected as a child and continue to collect on my rambles along northern coastlines. I combine my own history with my current practice, whether by imprinting patterns and surfaces from beautiful vintage lace and crochet created by the women in my family or bringing together shapes and forms remembering the topography of a well-traversed areas such as the intriguing rockpools of Half Moon Bay and Silverdale Cove.

My work explores my love of colour and texture by balancing the delicate and strongly textured designs from my collection of vintage craftworks by these three creative women to impress patterns and create tactile surfaces. The juxtaposition of the encrusted outer layer which is enhanced by a mixture of oxides or underglaze is contrasted by the smooth, shiny, and highly tactile glazed interiors of my rock pool and shell inspired forms. The colour of these glazes is carefully considered and layered to create the impression of changing weather conditions reflected by the water at different times of day and evening.'

Laura has been invited to exhibit her work at several selected exhibitions in the UK including Potfest and Ceramic Wales as well as in Seoul, South Korea. She is a member of the Northern Potters Association and has exhibited alongside fellow members. Laura’s work is currently in private collections in parts of Europe, Dubai, Hong Kong, Japan, America, Australia, and the UK.