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Donna Nicholas


Slab, low-fire clay and glazes
27"x 25"x 9"

Artist Statement

My work in the 1960's and early '70's was primarily sculptural and fired in the low temperature (cone 06-04) range. During the mid to late '70's 1 experimented with raku. salt glazing, and porcelain, still in the sculptural format. By the 1 980's 1 settled upon a white earthenware clay body and multiple glaze firing at cone 06 to 04 as best expressing my ideas and my interest in layered, rich, colorful surfaces. My work in the '80's consisted of a large number of vessels along with the development of my scuptural ideas. From the late 1 9801s, I have dealt with two overlaid themes: the shimenawa. a sacred rope that adorns Japanese Shinto shrines. and the image of a tornado. stemming from a tornado that occurred in my area in 1985. The shimenawa rope motifs and the tornado shape occur in diptych form in wall pieces and in free standing sculptures, where the tornado image is defined in the negative space between two forms. From this time almost all of my pieces are composed of two separate elements. with the space between them being an important part of the image.

I am interested in form/space relationships which are dynamic, tenuous, and which evoke the energy and tensions I see in nature. dance. and Japanese calligraphy. The five years I spent in Japan (1959-64) had a strong influence on how I see and design form and space. I use glaze color and texture to enhance those relationships in the pieces.

My clay sculptures are slab construction. often with extruded or press molded alterations. They are made from a low fire white clay, decorated with underglazes. slips, and glazes, and multifired to cone 04 in an electric kiln to build layered. textured surfaces.

Most recently I have moved away from abstraction, and have begun incorporating the human figure in mixed media (clay and wood) sculptures.

October28, 1994



119 Valley View Dr.
Edinboro, PA, 16412
TEL: 814-734-5001
FAX: 814-734-5919

1964-66		M.F.A., Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, 				California
1955-59		B.A., cumlaude, Pomona College, Claremont, Californla
1967, summer  	Michigan State Unlverslty, sculpture
1965, summer	Stanford University, advanced Japanese
1963-64		Studied history of Japanese art with Prof. Toru Mori of 			Osaka University
1960-62		Studled ceramics wlth Hiroaki Talmei Morino, Kyoto, 			Japan; maintained my own studio there from 1962-64

1969-		Edinboro Unlversity of Pennsylvania, Professor of Art
1975, spring	Moore College of Art, Philadelphla, Pennsylvania, Visiting 
		Associate Professor
1974, fall	Scripps College and Claremont Graduate School. Claremont, 
		California. Visiting Associate Professor
1966-69		Mott Community College, Flint, Michigan, Instructor
1965-66		Claremont Unified School District. Claremont, California, 
			Instructor, adult education
1960-64		Y.M.C.A., Kyoto. Japan, English instructor
1959-60		Doshisha Women's College, Kyoto, Japan, English 				Instructor

1967	Mexico, to visit potteries and archaeological sites
1971 	England, to see potteries and sacred sites
1984	China, to visit potteries and archaeologlcal sites
1989	USSR, Latvia, and Estonia, as guest of Soviet Artists' Union, to 
	lecture and meet with ceramic artists
1994	Japan, to visit potteries and research work of women ceramists

National Council for Education in the Ceramic Arts
American Crafts Council (Pennsylvania representative to the Northeast 
Regional Assembly (1975-78)
Northwest Pennsylvania Artists Association
Associated Artists of Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Crafts Advisory Panel,1982-84,1986-88
Erie Art Museum Board of Directors, Chairperson. Collections 
Creative Education Foundation

Who's Who in American Art, Who's Who In America. Who's Who in the 
East, Contemporary Personalities,
World Who's Who of Women, International Who's Who of Business and 
Professional Women, Dictionary of
International Biography

1990        Donna Nicholas. 7 minute video produced by WVIA-TV. 
Allentown, PA; segment of PORTRAITS series on Pennsylvania artists

1972          XXVII Syracuse National, Craft Horizons, December
1980          A Potters' Dozen. NCECA Journal
1988          From the Inside Out, NCECA Journal
1992          Gaijin, Studio Potter. winter
1994          Japanese Women Ceramists-Part l Studio Potter, winter
1995          Japanese Women Ceramists-Part ll Studio Potter, winter

Lowe Gallery, University of Miami, Florida, Flint Institute of the Arts, 
	Flint, Michigan
Plains Art Museum, Moorehead. Minnesota, California State University,
	San Luis Obispo, California
Robert Pfannebecker, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Erie Art Museum, 
	Erie, Pennsylvania
Mukhina, St. Petersburg University of Art, USSR

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