Nicole McLaughlin is a mixed media artist, working in ceramics and fiber. She was born and raised in Massachusetts but spent much of her early childhood in Mexico. As a first generation Mexican-American, she is heavily influenced by her multicultural upbringing and her childhood memories of visiting her mother’s home town of Cuernavaca, Mexico. Nicole received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, MO. Currently, Nicole serves as the Ceramics Teaching Fellow at Tabor Academy in Marion, MA. Nicole continues to draw inspiration from traditional Mexican ceramics and cultural traditions in hopes of showing how her life has been shaped by a collision of two cultures.
My studio practice, a ritualization that celebrates and questions my cultural inheritance as a woman, depicts the dichotomies of my heritage through the combination of ceramics and fiber. The use of fiber in combination with ceramic speaks powerfully to how we view utilitarian objects and the experiences associated with them. Symbolically, a vessel keeps not only the physical within but the ephemeral memories of life long after they have passed. The vessels in my work are not meant as objects of utility, instead they serve as vehicles for fiber. As the fiber flows from, weaves into, or frames the ceramic, it distorts the functionality but becomes a meaningful component as plate and cloth merge. The vessels contain an expression of femininity and an essence of personal and cultural history.