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Nina Hole

Biography to Display: 

Born 1941  Denmark

Died 2016 Orslev, Denmark



1961-1963  Art and Craft School, Copenhagen, Denmark

1969-1972  Chatauqua Arts Institute, Jamestown, New York

1972-1974  Fredonia State University, Fredonia, New York



2010    Artist in Residence, Watershed, Edgecomb. Maine



Nina Hole is known for her monumental clay “fire sculptures,” which are equal parts sculpture and performance art. These resemble rudimentary churches and houses built by teams of people, then fired in place. Although solid looking, the structures were hollow inside and built in a modular system which connected rows of slabs bent into a u-shape, making a strong, double wall system. These were sometimes minimal with a rough, rudimentary exterior decorated with terra sigillata or glaze.

Instead of being fired in a kiln, the fire brick bases are  the kiln fire box. Wood is fed into the brick kiln base throughout the firing process. Once wrapped in insulating k-wool material the sculpture with its fire box is the kiln. When the insulating blankets are removed the monumental sculpture is revealed, a glowing fire belching sculpture. Sculptures would be built on fire bricks, and sometimes cement so they could be moved to another location. Hole’s performance art were Happenings[1] these reveals were events, a key part of her art.

Hole has permanent installations of these sculptures around the world, including Mexico, the United States, Australia, Portugal, Taiwan, Hungary, Wales, Korea, Germany, Japan, and her native Denmark.

Nina Hole is also known for her smaller sculptures including her “small houses” and “inspirational churches” series. Like her fire sculptures, these are inspired by houses, churches, with a rough finish and a muted palette of whites and browns.

Hole’s last fire sculpture was built on the Purdue University campus in West Lafayette, Indiana and completed in 2016 after her death.  A video of the process and can be found here:


[1]  last accessed: 16 October 2021


Public Collections

Public Collections to Display: 

Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth, Wales, UK

American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, California

Clay Keramikmuseum Grimmerhaus, Middelfart, Denmark

Fule Ceramics Art Museum, Fuping County, Shaanxi Province, China

Keramikmuseum Westerwald Fule Ceramics Art Museum, Höhr- Grenzhausen, Germany

Kunstindustrimuseet, Copenhagen, Denmark

Panevèžys Civic Art Gallery, Panevèžy, Lithuania

Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

Porvo Bårgas Keramikmuseet, Porvo, Finland

Rhosska Museet, Gottenborg, Sweden

Ringebu Ceramik Collection, Ringebu, Norway

Taipei Country Yingo Ceramics Museum, Taipei City, Taiwan

Trapholtmuseet, Kolding, Denmark

The World Ceramic Center (WOCEK), Icheon, Korea

Vejen Kunstmuseum, Vejen, Denmark


Bibliography to Display: 

Brown, Glen R. “Nina Hole: Fire Portraits.” Ceramics Monthly, September 2001.          

Hole, Nina. “Tales of a Red Clay Rambler: Nina Hole,” by Ben Carter, Studio Potter, Dec. 27, 2012.

“Nina Hole: CV/Resume.” Nina Hole: Ceramic Artist, accessed August 5, 2021.





Center for CraftCenter For Craft



AMOCA American Museum of Ceramic ArtAMOCA American Museum of Ceramic Art


The Marks Project is not aware of any signatures or marks for this artist.
Date: 1996
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Slab-Built, Hand-Built
Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.6 x 7.9 inches
American Museum of Ceramic Art 2004.2.440, gift of the American Ceramic Society
American Museum of Ceramic Art 2004.2.440, gift of the American Ceramic Society

Citation: Beul, Jasmine. "The Marks Project." Last modified January 28, 2023.