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glen nipshank - potter

about glen

"There is no perfect world, but I want to make perfectly nice art so people see it and change their outlook.  I create playful imagery and form.”


Born in northern Alberta, Canada, Glen Nipshank is a Bigstone Cree. He spent the first 12 years of his life growing up in isolated communities along one of the largest lakes in Alberta. Traditional Cree stories, as well as the water, woods and animals of Alberta, still inspire him.  By the time Glen was a teenager, his family had moved to Vancouver, British Columbia. Glen studied art in Minnesota and Vancouver before he came to New Mexico. He moved to Santa Fe about 1990 and graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts in 1994.  “I am a painter by trade,” he has said, but he has worked in clay for over a decade.

Many of Glen’s organic forms reflect his love of nature.  His pottery has an alluring quality, inviting the viewer to touch it. Glen uses white clay, to which he often adds mica, and frequently, he will use a colored slip. He usually prepares a body of work, perhaps up to fifteen pieces, for each firing. The entire body of work will be related to a common theme. For some of this work, he follows the initial firing with a smoldering process, similar to raku.