NICOLA TASSIE (British, b. 1960)
Folly Totem, 2016
100" H x 10" Dia
Nicola Tassie (British, b. 1960) is a London-based ceramic artist whose elegant work blends functional forms with conceptual notions of fine art. Employing centuries-old pottery traditions, Tassie creates pieces that are immediately recognizable and approachable as humble quotidian domestic objects; however, through closer inspection, they reveal that the usability is only alluded to through certain formal properties, and not actual. Her oeuvre is comprised of clean forms that are experimental in their use of texture, color, and technique, as can be seen in her Totem sculptures, stacks of “pots” that can soar to over eight feet in height. Tassie uses a variety of clays, including stoneware, porcelain, and paper clay, and plays with the technicalities of the kiln firing them at different temperatures or placing them in different locations within the kiln. Her work is mostly thrown, though she has recently integrated some hand-building into her practice. She describes her relationship with clay as an “addiction.” Tassie originally studied painting at Central School of Art and Design in London before dedicating herself completely to the practice of ceramics and is a founding member of Standpoint Studios in London. Her work has been exhibited widely.