April Nickel

Chicago IL

Photography by Lyndon French

Featuring April Nickel

Where are you from / where did you grow up? 
Born, raised, and currently reside in Chicago, IL.

Please describe who you are/what you do?
Daughter, Wife, Mother, Artist. 

What are you working on/interested in at the moment?
Trying to break away from the monotony of wholesale and small batch production, I’m currently spending  any time I can playing with clay. I’m experimenting with more sculptural and one of a kind pieces while also  integrating more aspects of my Filipina culture into my work. I also have been painting with watercolors  when I have the time.

Do you make time for self-care, and if so what are your rituals or routines?
I’m not very good at self care as I naturally tend to care for those around me first. I do have a routine  though when I remind myself to make the time. Being the first to wake up in the house, light incense, hot  tea, read, yoga, breathe, drink water, music, daydream. 

What is your favorite product/art piece/project that you have created and why?
For ceramics, anything I’ve only made one of. Otherwise, my greatest creation by far are my two  daughters who are radiant and unique beings that give me hope and whom I endlessly adore.

In what way has COVID-19 affected you- emotionally or practically- and how are you adjusting to this new paradigm we live in?
Other than the negatives, like worrying about people getting ill, or spontaneously going out for a drink or to eat at a restaurant, and travel oh how I miss travel. Covid-19 has actually had a positive affect on my life and work. I already worked from home, and now that my girls are remote learning for school, I am getting a chance to have them around me all day during such a beautiful moment in their childhood. I get to watch them learn, hear their voices more, read, cook, and laugh together all day. As a family I don’t think we ever would have been able to spend such quality time together and get to appreciate how much we all mean to  each other.  


What does spirituality mean to you?
I feel like spirituality is in all the things around us that really matter. Our connection with human beings  who are genuine, and nature when we can stop and really be still within it and listen to what it’s telling us. 

I am interested in the unseen and I have felt these forces since I was little. I think this is part of my  attraction to the Yin Yang.

The idea of the lightness and darkness, joy and pain, and how the chaos of it  all ultimately organizes itself into what is meant to be, to exist in this life. Living through the seasons and  accepting the death and rebirth cycle is spiritual to me. 

pick a current favourite...

a song -
It’s too hard to pick one, but currently I have these on repeat, s, Intro by Ria Boss and The River by Ananda Shankar and I Cried by Tammi Terrell

a book -
Again, too hard to pick one as I am always reading, but two books I’ve recently read and relate to in so many ways are Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Díaz and Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett 

a scent -
The smell of the salty ocean and fresh Jasmine, always fresh Jasmine 

an item of clothing -
An Ichi Antiquités skirt with a comfy sweatshirt

plant/flower -
Marigolds, Sakura, and the Saguaro cactus 

a recipe -
Koresh-e Fesenjān and Saffron rice 

artist/maker -
I’m friends with so many amazing artists and makers, and married to one. They all constantly inspire me, lift me up, and give me life. It’s impossible for me to just name one