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Nicole Aquillano

Nicole Aquillano Ceramics

"Fascinated by the potential of place to define and connect us, I draw subtle narratives on functional work to elicit memories of past experiences. I create a story you can hold in your hand forever."

Architectural imagery drawn from the artist's photographic collection—inlaid with intense attention to detail—prompts display of her work when not in use and becomes a meaningful addition to any collection. Aquillano is particularly interested in the need to maintain collections, as a way to preserve the past and satisfy the longing with which we inhabit the world.

Aquillano draws each image directly into the porcelain clay with a knife, then inlays a dark underglaze. The high temperature of the kiln combined with a clear glaze overlay slightly blurs the drawing, much like a faded memory. Aquillano is personally influenced by a nostalgia for her childhood home and often references imagery from her past as a way to establish a personal connection.

Aquillano took an unconventional path to become a studio potter. After pursuing a career in civil engineering, she left it to follow her passion, earning an MFA in ceramics from Rhode Island School of Design in 2012. After graduation, she set up her studio in the Fort Point Area of Boston, where she has the opportunity to both live and work along with her husband, Sam, and cat, Luna.

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Selected Exhibitions & Awards
Yunomi Invitational 2015, Iowa City, IA, Akar Gallery, 2015
Our Cups Runneth Over: Sculptural & Functional Cups, Boston, MA, Society of Arts and Crafts, 2014-2015
The State of Clay 2015, Brockton, MA, Fuller Craft Museum, 2015
Crafted. Object Focus: Ceramic Cups, Pittsburgh, PA, Society for Contemporary Craft, 2014
Starbrick Clay National Cup Show: Award of Distinction, Award of Excellence, & Purchase Award, Nelsonville, OH, Starbrick Gallery, 2015