Ceramic Sculptor
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Eileen Nisbet: Ceramic Sculptor 1929 - 1990.


The many friends, ex-students and admirers of her work will be grieved to hear of the death of Eileen Nisbet on the 9th of July. This came after a long illness during most of which she courageously carried on teaching and working.

She was a student at Hornsey College of Art just after the war and later at the Central School, an early CPA member and an Index member of the Crafts Council from the beginning. Her work had three main stages: press-moulded earthenware dishes, hand-built ceramic wall pieces and more recently and most importantly her innovative porcelain sculpture. These where made of assembled pieces of extremely thin sheets of porcelain, shaped, pierced and sometimes decorated in coloured enamels to form free-standing sculptures with themes such as flower, teapot or aeroplane. It was with these porcelain pieces that Eileen Nisbet established her reputation which was growing internationally as she exhibited in more and more galleries overseas. All her work was characterised by her exquisite drawing and acute awareness of form; the craftsmanship throughout was impeccable.

Eileen Nisbet taught for many years first at Harrow but mainly and for many years at The Central School of Art in London where her sympathetic approach, sound practical advice and tireless support for the students will long be remembered and sadly missed.

Relating the bare facts of her working life as a potter and her contribution to teaching is simple enough. I am just not able, however, adequately to describe Eileen Nisbet's talent except to say that it was of a rare order, the highest order. Those of us who knew her must be thankful for that privilege; the ceramic world has lost a true artist and we a dear friend.

Michael Casson.