Jean Cappadonna Nichols’ Unorthodox Ceramics

jean-barbie-feetThe most recognizable sculpture by the late Jean Cappadonna Nichols is this figurative work, Daydreamer with Botticelli Barbie and Rat Patrol. All her ceramics blaze with color and carry the imprimatur of her unorthodox creativity.

Nichols created the life-size work in white earthenware and then painted the surface with a tattoo-like collage of fantastic images ranging from dark to humorous. Below: Installation view (Florida Sun-Sentinel photo)


Her topics ranged from the environment to tattoos, from the ills of society to the average woman’s life. Below, two from her What’s a Nice Girl Like You series (Left: Crazed Weekend Warrior / Right: Leaning Toward Nonfunctional)

This one – called Photo Op with a Zipper (below) – is from her Partly Truth, Partly Fiction series.


She also had a series on teapots. Below, Blast-of-Steam Machine


Jean Cappadonna Nichols (b: 1941) was based in Florida when she died in December, 2011.

See more on her website, here.

17 replies »

  1. More than the sculpture, i find the use of the images on the surface of the body just wonderfull. But i have a doubt. Do you know if the images in the first sculpture of a woman have a relationship between them ?


    • castiblanc I will assure you they have a relationship and a symbolic meaning of some sort. Not necessarily to each other but to the artist or some life experience of hers. She loved symbolism as do I. BTW I am her brother so I do have first hand knowledge of her.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I never really understood ceramics till I actually took a class….the difficulty of this art is washed away when you look at work like this… it looks so effortless. (But we know better, don’t we?)


  3. Stunning! To master both ceramics and the painting part too? Plus to think up those original designs, wow. I was sad to read she had passed away.


  4. Reblogged this on Getting in? One Girl's Perspective: Blacks in Art and commented:
    I love Sculptures!!! It’s an art form that I completely understand. It can be abstract or completely literal and it still considered art!!! Paintings have always been tricky in that sense. I guess it the critical views of painters verses sculptures. Maybe a survey is to be conducted on who has more merit as an artist? I have not forgot about my piece on black gurls rock! I just been dealing with some kind of writers block, but hoping to complete it today.


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