About Dark Bodies Pottery

Sip your tea and serve it, too.

Enjoy one-of-kind functional artwork, compliments of Dark Bodies Pottery.

Founded in 2021 by Nicole Akoukou Thompson, Dark Bodies Pottery is a Black woman-owned Chicago-based small-batch operation. 

DBP creates a variety of ornate, unique, and charming wheel-thrown ceramic pieces. Adding luster, brightness and color to the homes of recipients, the vessels crafted in the DBP studio are meant to be treasured, gifted and inherited.

Color, shape and texture choices are intentional. Each piece is unique and artist-touched, molded and carved by hand. This means, while there will be slight variations in color, size and shape, collections of works will be recognizable as such. Also, quality and character never suffer.

We’re focused on shaping and sharing inventive utilitarian designs derived from darker bodies of clay. The warm clays and glazes will overwhelmingly honor and pay homage to human skin colors that are rich in melanin. The experience of Blackness will be represented and celebrated in the slopes, silhouettes and contours of the clay. The fertility, fruitfulness, frustrations, culture and generositysometimes involuntarilyof Blackness will be manifested.

Expect charm, revelry, romance and joy from each piece. Inspiration is drawn from whimsy, travel, introspection, the robustness of family, Chicago, Ghanaian roots, and literature --specifically, the creative works of Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Nikki Giovanni, Zora Neal Hurston, Esmeralda Santiago, Ntozake Shange, and Zadie Smith.

Soon, Nicole will embark on a 100-day pottery project concluding on the official online store opening of Dark Bodies Pottery. Nicole humbly practices pottery from her converted garage on the Southside of Chicago. 

How it started
Starting as a hobbyist potter, Nicole first became acquitted with pottery while pursuing her undergrad degree in Creative Writing at Knox College and rekindled the urge to create when she enrolled in Chicago pottery spaces, beginning in 2018. 

How’s it going
Nicole now works part-time as a potter, planning to master the craft of pottery, and a freelance writer, writing feature articles and trending news pieces.


About the artist
Nicole Akoukou Thompson (She/Her) is a freelance writer, fiction writer, and ceramicist. She makes small batch, wheel-thrown pottery, and works with dark bodies of clay: creamy browns and rustic reds—and she loves highlighting w/ dreamy blues. Find her on Instagram at @nicoleakoukou; also follow Femme Noir Pottery (@femmenoirpottery)!

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