nichola theakston

 ceramic sculpture.

sighthound sculpture ceramic dog


Gorilla portrait sculpture ceramic sculpture

Typically coil or slab built constructions, unique works are more freely conceived and less tightly constrained than limited edition works which may be sculpted over weeks on an armature. These sculptures are unique responses to a subject, and may form a small series or body of work evolving over time. Working in series facilitates the pursuit of an elusive idea or gesture that is not always captured immediately. It allows for experimentation and accident, but also a developing understanding of subject. A slight ambivalence in form may be balanced by an emphasis on emotion and expression. Work is often at risk during construction and the resulting fragility is integral to both concept and aesthetic. 

The notion that an individual creature  may experience some ‘otherness’ or spiritual dimension beyond our understanding of its instinctive animal behaviours,  is the premise behind  much of my work, and portraiture a vehicle to I use to explore feeling and expression.  Primates in particular are  an obvious and compelling choice of subject given their genetic proximity to human kind, and it is important to me that they are sculpted with sensitivity and empathy,  inviting the viewer to relate and reflect.

limited edition

Limited Edition sculptures are usually made on an armature which is packed out with clay to assume a rough sketch which is worked to completion before moulding. Traditional plaster moulds are made of the sculpture from which I am able to remake and remodel a ceramic edition. Each new sculpture made within an edition is made from pressing clay into individual sections of moulds. Once released from the moulds these sections are tidied up and reassembled to reconstruct the form of the original sculpture. The sculpture is then reworked with fresh clay and then coloured slips are applied prior to firing.  Painting and drawing continue to influence my approach to these pieces.


Bronze hare head

Bronze sculpture is made at at Castle Fine Arts Foundry using the lost wax process from the original  clay sculpture, and will be produced in small editions.