Meet Isaac Nichols, a friendly guy with a penchant for disruption and making things that describe beauty and the strange sensations that we humans experience in life.  His art definitely puts a smile on your face.  Isaac’s body of ceramic work reeks of a fun, super relaxed attitude towards the art of business, and the business of art.  Mind you, to anyone who thinks the art world isn’t one big business-y machine, you my friend, are fantasising.  

Equipped with ideas and a solid background of seven years in and about art school, you would assume that Isaac was bursting with creative mind grapes when he started his ceramic project called Group Partner in 2012.  There’s a maturity about these ambiguous ceramic pieces that make an army of peaceful and friendly forms that describe a beauty in a very modern sensibility.  Perky over plump, a chest line sans push-up per se.  To me, his success with this project is thanks to an empathetic vision of people living in the wildest city on earth… New York.  

With little know-how in ceramics and a rolling pin in hand, Isaac began by pinching and squishing his early prototypes together.  Completely self taught, yet well attuned to the fine skills of research and development, Isaac has speedily built an impressive Brooklyn based ceramics studio that turns out hundreds of molded ceramic boobs, faces, (and more recently) men’s junk – all in great demand world wide.

Eric Kvatek went to visit the Group Partner studio in Brooklyn to share all of its greatness, thanks to the neo-hippy juju that radiates from founder Isaac Nichols.

PTJ_kvatek_GroupPartner_19
PTJ_kvatek_GroupPartner_3 PTJ_kvatek_GroupPartner_5 PTJ_kvatek_GroupPartner_9 PTJ_kvatek_GroupPartner_15 PTJ_kvatek_GroupPartner_17 PTJ_kvatek_GroupPartner_18 PTJ_kvatek_GroupPartner_12 ezgif.com-gif-maker-16 PTJ_kvatek_GroupPartner_14 PTJ_kvatek_GroupPartner_13 PTJ_kvatek_GroupPartner_6 PTJ_kvatek_GroupPartner_4 PTJ_kvatek_GroupPartner_7 PTJ_kvatek_GroupPartner_8

Isaac’s Funnest Life Possible /

I like the idea of a neo-hippy.  What do you think makes one ? Can I be part of the club?

Absolutely.  I think Steph gave me that label.  She’s the “radical feminist” that keeps a roof over my head and keeps the company in order.  I think she’s either referring to my lack of clean clothes or my general approach to the grouppartner project as  a means to support a community of clay-interested thinkers and makers.  I think of myself more as a Richard Branson of dirt type. Jk. 

The world of ceramics can get super technical, and then creating stuff on a larger scale takes much more planning again.  How do you go about coming up with new forms? How much do you leave to experimentation and chance?

This whole thing came about through chance.  So there’s that.  I didn’t find success until I stopped trying.  Once I relaxed and stopped thinking so hard things started to happen. That’s still the sacred creative place.  Turn off your brain and try to celebrate what you have with what’s available and maybe you’ll surprise yourself. 

Turning your ideas into a business would be challenging at the least.  Would you say you’ve always gone with the flow or has everything been super strategized from the word go?  

What is strategized?

What would you say has been the biggest learning curve for you in the Group Partner adventure?

This whole project has been such a wirlwind.  Biggest hurdle was accepting that my life was going to change and is changing and its course isn’t something I can predict.  My new idea on identity and life is, relax and see where your opportunities are, then embrace them. I still have a lot to learn. 

Instant or Brewed?
I like the Columbia coffee from my deli, Macarren Deli.  Kevin is my barista, what’s up Kevin!? He charges me $1 and I pour my own coffee.

 What did you last Google?

Doug Stanhope. 

Tell us about your zombie apocalypse escape plan.

I’m just going to try and blend in. My friend tom said if I make it to the cape he’ll pick me up in a boat and take me to the islands off Maine.  I might not wait long enough for the zombies. The “new” New York is pretty intolerable. 

But do you even lift bro?

Lol.  I run a few times a week I would go insane without it.  Yoga too, and now I’m going to a choreographed R&B class that is maybe the last great thing about this citi.  I think if I could do it over I would have been a dancer.  

PTJ_kvatek_GroupPartner_11 PTJ_kvatek_GroupPartner_16 PTJ_kvatek_GroupPartner_20

Have a look at the funnest pots ever at Group Partner here.

/ Photographs by Eric Kvatek at the Group Partner Studio in Brooklyn, New York / Words by Lauren Yates /