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Hello

My name is Lucy Nilan

I'm the owner and maker of a small batch pottery studio creating collections of dinnerware, serving ware, decorative accents and handmade items that are colorful, detailed, modern, and timeless.  A large part of my work revolves around color and animals, even the most overlooked or odd animals. I strive to create handcrafted wares that help elevate or celebrate the daily routines of eating and living. Who says you can't enjoy your morning eggs off a plate with a chicken painted on it, celebrate that gift the chicken gave you.  No matter what, it is a privilege for me to have my work in your home, to help bring a little beauty and delight to the rhythms of everyday life.

I graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2008 with a BA in fine arts (emphasis in ceramics).
 

I started this journey of illustrated work back in 2012 and am always amazed at how much my work has grown and expanded!

Born in 1985 in Boston, Massachusetts, I grew up with art and craft from an early age.  My parents both painters, always encouraged and fostered a sense of creativity.  Whether it was various open studios and galleries of theirs or friends, work around the home on display or museums there was a constant presence.

 

A friend and I took a pottery class in college together; it was like a switch turned back on.  While my mom seemed to believe I would be more of a carpenter, I was drawn to clay.  After much deliberation, I quickly changed my major from history and politics to ceramics.  After college, I worked at various teaching jobs and a tile company in Chicago, Iowa and Washington State. I feel much of my education came from teaching others.

 

I started my studio in Tacoma, Washington by doing festivals and craft shows around town, it drew me to the production side of pottery.  I was relocated to Colorado Springs, CO in 2018 and have since moved back to Tacoma WA in 2022.  I am grateful for the love and opportunity given to me so that I can continue to work and grow artistically.

I currently make functional, colorful and playful home goods.  Many of my pots bring in the joy and comforts of animals, allowing me to explore the relationship between drawing, color and the three-dimensional form.

For the most part, pieces are thrown on a pottery wheel, once they are leather-hard excess clay is removed and a foot is carved into them. At this same stage, they are decorated with an underglaze and wax resist. She uses a process called mishima to reinsert the original line drawing. They are allowed to dry completely and are fired in an electric kiln to 1830 degrees. A majority of the glazes are custom-made using a variety of Mason Stains and various recipes (that are modified). The pieces are glazed and refired for a second time. All pieces are food-safe and meant to be used and enjoyed.  The mission is to brighten homes all over the world with beautiful yet durable everyday porcelain products. 

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Do you want to see more of my work?

I begin most of my work on the pottery wheel. I carve and decorate my porcelain pieces with underglaze and glaze to show the fine details. A majority of my work centers around animal portraiture.  The fact that these drawings exist on objects intended for everyday use is important to me. Using handmade objects and immersing myself in the process of watercolor to pottery, creates joy. I hope people will engage with my illustrations as my work is being used, finding connections by keeping them in play long after the moments that inspired them have passed.

Get in Touch

You can shop online with me or at a number of boutiques across the US.

(617) 797-8138

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I look forward to your note!

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