Nicholas Bivins incorporates a variety of materials in his work including wood, auto paint, plaster, clay, decals. The gusto of vibrant colors in contrast to white porcelain is his aim; like hot rods and chrome! The tray sets create problem solving oppertunities for Nick to explore arrangement, rest, utility, and mobility. He considers the tray a framing device for cups and sets which are arranged and housed on/in the trays.In the sets, Nick only signs one piece of the whole. This is an intentional departure from his previous practice of casting his initials into every part of the set. His chop is now only on one piece in the set and is a small symbol representing his name. He believes that his “signature” is in every step of the process, embedded in object, and made with a signature method.
Nick began exploring this type of work in graduate school while working with a mechanical engineer to explore 3D rendering technology. He began to design shapes that were not born on the wheel but were a product of 3D printing. Eventually, because of the cost and time restraints of 3D printing, Nick began to work in the woodshop to build models out of solid MDF in order to achieve his forms. This type of model making influences the feel of his work as does the surfaces he chooses.
Sleek, geometric, angular, and taught.You can learn more about Nick’s making and thinking process on his blog. Nick employs a food-safe silicone rubber cast into the wells in the tray as an opportunity for surprise and as a reward for exploration. In his sets, Nick considers “more is more” and often refers to industry as a wonderful resource for solving problems. He describes the automotive industry as “car glazers” , coating metal surfaces with glaze-like paints and has brought auto paint into his work. Originally from California, Nicholas has received his BFA from the University of Washington and MFA from Ohio University. He has been an artist-in-residence at Red Lodge Clay Center and has recently completed a long-tem residency at the Archie Bray Foundation. Learn about Nick’s next moves on his blog.]