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Kitchen Art

An Orinda artist walks the line between art and function


Courtesy of Nicholas Bivins

Artist Nicholas Bivins creates utilitarian kitchenware that carefully walks the line between functionality and aesthetic appeal.

“Being a studio potter provides me an opportunity to invent individual, functional ceramic ware that will improve users’ lives,” he explains.

An Orinda native, Bivins first became interested in pottery at Miramonte High, from which he graduated in 1997. He then pursued his passion at schools in Washington, Alaska, and Ohio, before recently settling in for a one-year residency at Red Lodge Clay Center in Montana.

He was featured in the December issue of Ceramics Monthly and exhibited his work in the recent Objects of Virtue show at the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek.

The minimalist slant in Bivins’ work hardly hints at the intricate processes involved in producing each of his pieces. The journey involves mold making, slip casting, three different firings, glazing, decaling, and a final meticulous sanding and cleaning. This results in clean, precise geometric pieces.

“I am continually searching for a satisfying balance of how much evidence of hand I put in and how much hand I take out,” he says.

For information, visit nicholasbivins.com. 

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