Born in 1963, Nicholas Rena was educated at Eton College where he studied art under the ceramicist, Gordon Baldwin. Rena studied first as an architect at Cambridge before completing an MA in Ceramics and Glass at The Royal College of Art in London in 1995.
His work consists of thick earthenware press-moulded oversize vessel forms with precise, smooth finishes. The clay body is often deeply stained with colour, sometimes creating violently contrasting interiors and exteriors to the vessels and each piece is finished by sanding and polishing. Although the shapes echo domestic wares, the oversize pieces have great presence and Rena often presents his work in dynamic groups such as The Ecstasy of St Teresa (2008). The size and understated simplicity create a monumental effect.
Rena was nominated for the Jerwood Applied Art Prize in Ceramics in 2001. He has exhibited internationally and his work can be seen in many permanent public collections including the Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Louvre, Paris and the V&A Museum, London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.