I view the handmade pot as a steadfast window into individual and cultural expression. Clay has been paddled and pinched into vessels, carved, stamped, turned on the wheel, and pressed into molds. For thousands of years the clay pot has been used to communicate the notion of self and group identity, all while holding food and beverages. My forms, though safely in the contemporary ceramic world, are bolstered by the pots of history and prehistory. I communicate notions of history and heritage through functional pots using thoughtful surface design inspired by my Peruvian heritage. I have always been interested in exploring issues related to heritage, my personal and cultural descent, as well as that of others. Making pots through an anthropological lens, I blend my interest in pre-Colombian ceramics and textiles with an admiration for early American folk pottery. Graphic carvings, magnified from pre-Colombian designs, wrap around my vessels, moving from rim to foot, handle to spout. My glaze palette references the naturally produced color palette used by native cultures to decorate craft goods. The dark, bare stoneware body alludes to the rich soil of the earth where so many pots from past cultures return and are one day sifted out of the dirt to be enjoyed and studied again.
Nigel is an archaeologist, studio potter, native Floridian, and proud Peruvian-American. Born in the gulf-coast city of Bradenton. After receiving a BA in cultural anthropology from the University of West Florida in 1998, he studied ceramics as a post baccalaureate student at the University of Florida, finishing in 2002. Nigel has held artist in residence positions at The Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and the St. Petersburg Clay Company in St. Petersburg, Florida. He exhibits his work nationally in juried and invitational exhibitions, including at the 2005, 2007, and 2011 National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts conference. Nigel wears many hats; working full-time as a Public Archaeologist at the Crystal River Archaeological State Park, as well as being a studio potter, teacher, and husband. He and his wife, clay artist Cheyenne Chapman Rudolph, currently live in Gainesville, Florida.