Nic Collins Biography
Nic Collins has now been using clay for almost 30 years; his first encounters with wood-firing began out of necessity 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 experimented with raku, sawdust firings and saltglazing.
Self taught at throwing, Nic then went to Derby College of Art in 1985-86 where he studied Studio Ceramics. Upon leaving Derby he worked briefly in potteries in Italy and Germany.
In 1988 Nic started his own workshop at Powdermills in the heart of Dartmoor. His first kiln there was an fast fire Oslen 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.
Since the early 90s Nics pots have changed dramatically, mainly due to influence from the effects of the kiln. For example: when side stoking the Anagama, pots would occasionally be knocked over, falling into the fire box areas and be buried in ash and ember. In the early days these pots would be discarded as failures, but now Nic aims for this effect.
Nic builds several kilns a year to suit changing pot styles and firing ideas. The alchemy of wood firing is still fascinating to him with each firing bringing fresh ideas as well as new pots.
Nic now works and lives with his partner Sabine in a converted barn in Moretonhampstead, Devon.