Master Sculptor Nic Joly Gets Even More Hands On With New Collection

Nic Joly is loved by collectors for his fantastically-detailed miniature sculptures with their heartfelt emotional content and his trademark ‘little people’, but his latest collection, Hands On, is deeply personal, and takes his art in a new direction.

Though Nic’s heart is still with those ‘little people’, he has been secretly working on a private passion project since 1997, and he’s now ready to reveal it to the world. The Hands On collection has been named in honour of his roots from his former life as a carpenter and In many ways, this work is Nic revisiting and reflecting on his former self and bringing the experience and skills of those early years into the present.

Watch Nic navigate this new concept, materials and techniques over on our instagram channel.

Reaching out

Hands On is a standalone collection  that includes both wall-hanging sculpture and 3D sculpture. Throughout the body of work, Nic has used an ink stamp of his own miniaturised hand to create mazes, trees, waves and even a picture of our planet. Nic has a specialist understanding of woodworking, joinery and carving, which he has utilised to great effect in this new collection.

Hands On utilizes a contemporary colour palette inspired and complimented by the natural hues Nic has used throughout the body of work. The palette consists of black and white with strikes of a blue especially mixed and developed by Nic. As well as a thoughtful colour palette, the materials and textures have been carefully considered throughout the collection. The simple and striking nature of the pieces is contrasted by the highly polished bronze figures meticulously positioned and interacting with the 2D elements of the work.



Details from a selection of artworks in this collection

Hand-made perfection

Nic Joly is a true artist and craftsman, whose artistic career was born in a stained glass and metal workshop. Inspired by the heavily-populated and deeply human work of Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel, the former furniture designer explored his own unique style and began to create his tiny figurines.

Nic, who studied at the Winchester School of Art, was initially creating these tiny theatrical figures and scenes for his children, crafting them and placing them around the house for them to find. He was still working as a furniture designer and maker as his full-time job, so Nic would literally carry the tiny figurines round in his pockets so he could work on them at any available moment. He later bought a shop where Nic was selling his own designed and made furniture, then also started selling his art, which flew off the shelves, and his full-time art career was born.

He is a great student of the human condition, and is unafraid to tackle life’s difficult subjects head-on. Nic has made pieces about mental health and the unsettling times of the Coronavirus epidemic, but is equally at home making fun and heartfelt sculptures about love, friendship and the connection we feel to each other; the main topic of the Hands On collection. Nic’s openly emotional pieces make a huge connection with his many collectors, who often tell him what they mean to them. “It’s really humbling to hear that my art touches people’” Nic says.

Featured Artist

From the blog

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