Niki Shelley
Niki Shelley is a Berkeley-based artist and ceramicist whose practice hinges on making forms intended to reflect a sense of radical hospitality. Having graduated with a BFA in painting and printmaking from the California College of Arts & Crafts, Shelley spent several years in New York City before returning to the world of craft—she has been working as a full-time ceramicist for the last seven years. Though she is mostly self-taught, her style is informed by the formal aesthetic principles she studied in art school. She draws inspiration from folk art traditions and a myriad of theoretical sources—ranging from Gaston Bachelard, to Jacques Derrida, Yanagi Sōetsu and Raoul Vaneigem—whose writings on beauty, the life of objects, hospitality, everyday life, and our relationship to the built environment have profoundly shaped her creative process. She primarily works with clay sourced from Southern California and strives to recycle all her clay trimmings and scraps, making all of her own glazes in-house using raw materials. The Amphora for Alice’s Collection is loosely inspired by the ancient Etruscan amphorae at the National Etruscan Museum in Chius, Italy. Shelley’s intention was to create a reserved, modern interpretation that would lend itself to dramatic, abundant displays.