Nicole Copel

La Veta, CO

(b. )

Artist Statement

Making art is a way to give physical form to creative ideas. 

There is great satisfaction in working with clay – a soft ubiquitous material – and turning it into something sturdy that is useful, sculptural or thought provoking. 

Currently I make two bodies of work. 

EFFERVESCENCE is characterized by bright colors and round shapes against a white porcelain clay surface. This playful series adds a little buoyancy to a time when it is all too easy to be dragged down by the seriousness and challenges of being human. My hope is that the work brings levity to the people that live with it. 

SAVOURY WARE is one of kind soda fired clay pieces made for artful daily living. The soda (think baking soda) and water solution that is sprayed into the kiln at high temperature, fuses with the clay body creating a unique glazed skin, directional markings from the spray, and at times a slightly raised orange peel-like surface. This is a much less predictable method of firing that yields unexpected gifts from the kiln.

I received my MFA in Ceramics from Kansas State University. I live in La Veta, Colorado at the base of the Spanish Peaks mountains in southern Colorado where I owned and operated an art gallery for nearly a decade.  I am currently a studio potter working in my compact bright adobe ceramics studio that sits next to the soda kiln that I built.

I am an adjunct art instructor at Colorado State University in Pueblo. I teach workshops and  collaborate on projects with other artists. 

One of my most rewarding clay experiences has been to travel with a team of ceramic artists to Port-au-Prince, Haiti to teach pottery making skills to employees of an art-based, socially conscious business called Papillion Enterprises. These women (the potters are all women) are now extremely skilled artisans, selling their work to support their families.

You can find my work year-round at 45 Degree Gallery in Old Colorado City, Colorado.