Carol McNicoll was born in Birmingham; she studied Fine Art at Leeds School of Art before attending the Royal College of Art from 1970. She has exhibited widely and taught at Camberwell School of Art. McNicoll’s chief form is the vessel, which has a long history both as sculpture and utilitarian design. McNicoll has said of her work, "I am interested in making objects that function within the domestic environment", although her work can be seen as something of a conundrum, employing accepted ceramic practice whilst treating the clay as though it were another material. The clay is slip cast with each plane emphasised with contrasting decoration which gives the feel of folded or woven paper and cloth. This requires considerable technical skill in the making of the complex moulds necessary for the production of each piece. The resulting work may look eccentric, but each piece functions, be it as teapot, plate or vessel. McNicoll has also collaborated closely with industry, producing a range of wares for mass production.