Marion Nehmer

Des Moines, Iowa


Growing up I was surrounded with art collected by my mother during her journey across Europe and Japan. Our home was filled with gorgeous silks, ceramics and beautifully hand carved objects that made an impression on me and still influences me in my creative process.

Studying art in college, I discovered the wonderful medium of clay. Clay’s earthy scent, its responsiveness to touch and the addition of fire to the mix are very appealing to me. What was once soft, warm clay, is formed at the wheel into a lovely shape, fired in a kiln until it is a cold, unappealing pink color, glazed another ambiguous color and by the addition of fire, is turned into something visually warm and beautiful that wants to be touched, handled and used. It’s an arduous process, but in the end worth the time and steps to get there. All the decisions of how to design, form and glaze a piece of pottery is a problem to be solved and part of the joy to me of using clay as an art medium.

I create functional fine craft ceramic art that is wheel thrown and altered. I look for inspiration in the human figure and in nature. Human gestures and curves are subtly reflected in my shapes; the curve of a waist, the bend of an arm. An intimate gesture completes the piece; the hand that picks up a cup, pulls it to the lips and drinks.

Glazes are warm earthy colors that foster the desire to pick up and handle each piece. Warm greens, toasty reds, and colors that deepen because of the addition of fire are all part of my color palette. I use porcelain and stoneware clay that when high fired in a gas reduction kiln creates these inviting glaze colors.

Following form and function, timeless pieces are created with the intent to be used every day.