KEVIN BRADFORD NIERMAN
Palm Springs, CA
Colson School of the Arts
Kids 'N Clay Pottery Studio, Berkeley, CA 1987 - 2014
Founder / Director
Colliding Worlds Video, Angela Romero 2013
Ceramics Annual of America, San Francisco, CA, catalogue 2011
Natsoulas, John. 30 Ceramic Artists, John Natsoulas Press, catalogue 2011
Ceramics Annual of America,
Natsoulas, John. 30 Ceramic Artists, John Natsoulas Press, catalogue 2010
Natsoulas, John. 30 Ceramic Artists, John Natsoulas Press, catalogue 2009
Branfman, Steven. Mastering Raku, Lark Books 2009
Natsoulas, John. 30 Ceramic Artists, John Natsoulas Press, catalogue 2008
Natsoulas, John. 30 Ceramic Artists, John Natsoulas Press, catalogue 2007
Lim, Chang Sub, Crafts: A Mode of Life, Cheongju International Craft Biennale, catalogue 2007
Skolnik & MacDaniels. The
Brin, David M. “Kevin Nierman’s Lidded Vessels: The Dwelling Series,”
Ceramics: Art and Perception 2005
Toki, John & Speight, Charlotte. Hands In Clay, 5th ed., McGraw Hill 2004
Selvin, Nancy. “Live/Work/Play: Interview with Artist/Potter Kevin Nierman,”
The Studio Potter 2002
Anderson, Isabel. “‘Ceramic Annual 2002’ at
Selvin, Nancy. “Fundamentally Clay: Ceramic Abstraction 2002,”
Ceramics: Arts and Perception 2002
Bender, Sue. “Centering,” Stretching Lessons. Harper-Collins 2001
Von Dassow, Sumi, ed.
Barrel, Pit and Saggar Firing, A collection of Articles from Ceramics Monthly.
The American Ceramic Society 2001
Branfman, Steven. Raku - A Practical Approach (second edition), Krause Publications 2001
Arima, Elaine & Kevin Neirman. The Kids ‘N’ Clay Ceramics Book. Tricycle Press 2000
Winner. 2000 Parents’ Choice Foundation Award
“Artists in theWorld: Kevin Bradford Nierman,” Nouvel Objet V. Design House 2000
Toki, John & Speight, Charlotte. Hands In Clay, Mayfield Publishing 1999
Peterson, Susan. Working with Clay, The Overlook Press 1998
Cameron, James. “Titanic” (Movie), Sound Sampling for Key Character Scene 1998
Kevin Bradford Nierman, continued
Toki / Speight, Charlotte. Make It in Clay, Mayfield Publishing. 1997
Bender, Sue. Everyday Sacred Journal, Harper-Collins 1997
Bender, Sue. "Kevin's Cracked Pots", Everyday Sacred Journal, Harper-Collins 1996
Peterson, Susan. The Craft and Art of Clay (second edition), Prentice-Hall 1996
Brin, David. "Kevin Nierman", Ceramics Monthly, October 1995
Jeffrey Spahn Gallery, www.jeffreyspahn.com Berkeley, CA
Geometry 101, Lines & Shapes, UC Riverside Palm Desert, CA 2019
Colliding Worlds’ Art Gallery, “Solides” Cathedral City, CA 2018
Honoring the Past, Embracing the Future”, AMOCA Pomona, CA 2015
Kevin Nierman “New Work”,Roscoe Ceramic Gallery Oakland, CA 2012
Ceramics Annual of
30 Ceramic Artists; Natsoulas Gallery Davis, CA 2011
ACGA Clay & Glass National Juried Exhibition
Cecile Moochnek Gallery, Holiday Shows Berkeley, CA 2002 - 2012
Fifty Gravy Boats, Diablo
Innovations in Contemporary Crafts,
Ceramics Annual of
30 Ceramic Artists; Natsoulas Gallery Davis, CA 2010
30 Ceramic Artists; Natsoulas Gallery Davis, CA 2009
30 Ceramic Artists; Natsoulas Gallery Davis, CA 2008
Cheongju International Craft Biennale Cheongju, S. KOREA 2007
30 Ceramic Artists; Natsoulas Gallery Davis, CA 2007
Oakland Museum Oakland, CA 2007
Richmond Art Center, Dirty Dozen Richmond, CA 2007
The Toki Collection
Scripps Annual, Standing Room Only
Babilonia 1808 Berkeley, CA 2004
Northern California Clay
Scripps Annual, 58th Annual Invitational
Cecile Moochnek Gallery, Poetics of Space Berkeley, CA 2002
Toki Gallery Berkeley, CA 2001
Teabowl, In Perfect Harmony Ota City, JAPAN 1999
Nora Eccles Harrison
LECTURES AND WORKSHOPS:
Ceramics Annual of
Ceramics Annual of
Contemporary Ceramic Studios Association Scottsdale, AZ 2004
Oakland Museum Oakland, CA 1999 and 2000
Marin Montessori Marin, CA 1993
Kids 'N’ Clay Berkeley, CA 1987- 2005
WORK IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE COLLECTIONS:
American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA) - Pomona, CA
Ridge Winery - Cupertino, CA
Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA
Korean Craft Museum Permanent Collection - Cheongju, South Korea
Sam Maloof & Maloof Museums - Alta Loma, CA
Toki Collection -
Babalonia-Wilner Foundation -
Jo Lauria - Los Angeles, CA
Kay Sekimachi and Bob Stocksdale - Berkeley, CA
Nancy and Steve Selvin - Berkeley, CA
Sandy Simon & Robert Brady - Berkeley, CA
Peggy and Richard
Fran and Bob Davidson - Whidbey Island, WA
Hugh Wakeman and Kevin Nadeaf - Palm Springs, CA
Karen Cook - Bellingham, WA
Diane & Bob - Chase
Lucas and Ayla Lackner -
Abby Cook -
Gail Giffin and Chris Pissara - Lafayette, CA
Seb Hamamjian -
David and Karima Wilner - Berkeley, CA
Sam and Dima Haidar -
Howard and Victoria Robinson -
Deborah Tannen - Washington, DC
Sue Bender - Berkeley, CA
Robert Lower - Burbank, CA
Joan Pearson Watkins - Tomales, CA
John Deardourff - McLean, VA
Barbara Shawcroft - Emeryville, CA
Harry Weese - Chicago, IL
Karl Goldstein - Berkley, CA
Anne Sinskey -
ARTIST’S STATEMENT (2021)
Working with clay has been a lifelong passion. Its generous nature has given me a voice without words. It speaks for me. I am a sculptor.
My current work includes hand built spherical forms and vessels. Inspired by Native American Pueblo pottery, I build each piece using small coils of clay.
My robust full forms have a decidedly modernist feel. After having first been fired in the kiln and then broken apart, each shard is painted with lines and vibrant colors before being glued back together. The result is a a complex and often unexpected surface design.
ARTIST'S STATEMENT (2018)
For me, part of the joy of being a ceramic artist is using clay to create beauty. I can take a piece of clay, work it and make a perfect object. But this idea of beauty is too limiting, and I find myself having accidents, destroying my work.
As an artist I have used my work to express more about my view of life: an artist uses the dark and the light, the broken and the intact, the jagged and the smooth, to produce a more authentic beauty. Therefore, some of my pieces, large and small, are broken and reclaimed to reflect this attitude.
ARTIST’S STATEMENT REGARDING THE “VERTIMO” SERIES
In “Up & Down” the gentle spherical shapes combine with the strength of the stark steel
wire to provide a symmetry and balance that rely on opposing forces to work in harmony
and bind the sculpture into a single and cohesive union.
EXCERPTS FROM SELECT ARTICLES
- Excerpted from a 1995 David Brin article
“At age 44, Kevin Nierman still has a boyish quality about him. When he says that all he's done his adult life is ‘play’ with clay, one can almost believe it.
Nierman's mother, a recognized painter/artist in her own right, encouraged his growth as an artist from a very early age. As a young boy, Kevin was allowed to paint and repaint the walls of his bedroom, build sculptures in the house and experiment with all kinds of wall-decorations.
After a class with Carol Robinson at the
Nierman's vessels continued to change, but many have kept a characteristic look that results from the use of smoke in some form or other-- through raku, pit firing, or sawdust firing. For a time, Nierman burnished some of his pots, a very time-consuming technique. He would painstakingly rub the pots, for hours, with a special stone that was given to him by Blue Corn, a Native American potter.
Nierman then graduated to breaking pots and gluing them back together, creating an effect which confounds the mind of the viewer--the pot seems to be whole and in pieces at the same time.
Taking a cue from how his mother fostered him as a child, it does not seem to be a coincidence that Nierman has become a successful teacher. He gives his students structure, but also allows them to take their own creative paths. He now teaches six days a week at his studio in
Nierman started Kids 'N’ Clay Pottery Studio in 1988, after being encouraged by Kathy Neprud and Diane Atturio. "Kids 'N’ Clay has been a success mainly because I love teaching and I love children, and because I have a tremendous amount of respect for them," Nierman explains. "There is a sacred trust that exists between a teacher and a student. The teacher must always honor the child's creativity."
As word of his classes spread, Nierman began to get so many inquiries, that his small residential studio couldn't hold the quantities of kids who wanted to study with him. Ten years from it's genesis, Kids 'N’ Clay is now housed in a spacious new home, a landmark Victorian workers’ cottage in the artist-laden district of West Berkeley. Over 170 "young artists-in-residence" study with Kevin and his four staff artists each week.
As more of the daily teaching duties and background work of the school are being turned over to his staff, Kevin has been spending more of his personal time expanding the scale and scope of his use of clay. Most recently this has been manifested through various sculptural works.”
- “Colliding Worlds”, from CV Independent, by Angela Romero
The beauty of simplicity lies in its complexities. Such is the case with Artist Kevin Nierman’s work, Vertimo
Vertimo, a named derived from the kinetic energy, vertical with motion, that responds to external influence, is a series of hollow clay spheres infused with permanent stain, not a ceramic glaze. Strung on a steel wire each sphere creates a rung, Each rung provides symmetry and balance that, relying on opposing forces, causes each rung to work in sync to create a multi-tiered sculpture of a singular nature. Complex? Yes. Simple? Yes.
But Vertimo did not just spring to life. It is part of the journey of Kevin’s creativity.
Kevin was a child of the 60’s. His mother, a recognized artist in her own right, encouraged him to paint and repaint the walls of his bedroom, build sculptures throughout the house and experiment with all kinds of wall decorations. He pursued his studies at the Colson School of Art in 1977.
Kevin is also an artist, teacher, and in 1998, founded Kids ‘n Clay Pottery Studio in Berkeley. He created Kids ‘n Clay as am environment for children to explore their creativity while learning the craft of ceramics. Kids ‘n Clay has been recognized for its innovative approach to learning and the arts. Kevin recently sold Kids ‘n Clay when he moved full time to Palm Springs.
Kevin’s approach to his work was not always traditional. His work has incorporated demolition and rebuilding of his pieces. Purposeful destruction is reminiscent of the Persian rug weavers who always left a purposeful “error.” Kevin’s cracked pots follow in that tradition only in as much as the imperfection is part of the art. His pots were not seen as imperfect but as part of the journey of life. Rising above the destruction is a symbolic represented of the imperfection of life. The ability to rise against the challenges that would suppress one’s spirit is represented in the strength and beauty that exists in Nierman’s restructured pieces.
Kevin’s mastery of the complex simplicity is also seen in his dwelling or hut series. “I believe that these creations reflect how all of the peoples of the world are truly one, and that we all have one key commonality – that our dwellings and basic utensils are both important to our daily existence, but also that they represent who we are as inhabitants of this earth. Knowing that each and every one of the dwellings on this planet holds untold stories of survival, love and of their inhabitants, is humbling,” said Kevin.
It is from this trajectory that Vertimo claims its roots. Mastery of the simple and depth of complexity – welcome to the art of Kevin Nierman.