Nic Collins has worked with clay for almost 30 years. His first encounters with woodfiring occurred because he had no other way to fire his work. In his late teens and early twenties, he began building kilns and wheels and sourcing his own clay from the local river banks. He has experimented with raku, sawdust firings and salt-glazing.
After being self taught at throwing, Nic then attended Derby College of Art in 1985-86, where he studied Studio Ceramics. After leaving Derby, he worked briefly in potteries in Italy and Germany. In January 1988 Nic, started his own workshop at Powdermills in the heart of Dartmoor. His first kiln there was a fast fire Olsen-type kiln. In 1991, he built a large Anagama kiln in which to fire garden pots and domestic wares. At that time there were very few Anagama kilns in the UK. The only other was used by fellow potter, neighbour and friend Svend Bayer. Much experience was gained on both sides, through mutual firings.
Since the early 90s Nic's pots have dramatically changed, mainly due to influence from effects of the kiln. For example, when side stoking the Anagama inevitably pots would be knocked over, falling into the fire box areas, buried in ash and ember. In the early days, these pots would be discarded as failures, but now this type of pot is Nic's goal.Nic builds several kilns a year to suit changing pot styles and firing ideas. The alchemy of wood firing is still fascinating to Nic with each firing bringing fresh ideas for new pots and new kilns. An endless journey.
CPA Fellow Member
Full Member of Devon Guild of Craftsmen
Recent Grants and Awards
2004 Peers Award, Art in Clay, Hatfield House
2002 Best Potter in Show, Krefeld
2001 Peers Award, Art in Clay, Hatfield House
South West Arts
Grant Awarded from the Craft Potters Association