Chester Nicodemus (1901-1990) was a potter, known for his small clay birds fashioned from variously colored, high-iron-content Ohio clays. Several Clintonville residents showed me some of his birds as well as commemorative plates made for the Clintonville Women’s Club. He made teapots and pitchers, robins, eagles, and other wildlife.
Nicodemus earned a degree from Cleveland Art School in 1923 and then taught art at Dayton Art Institute and Wittenberg College. In 1932 he became dean of Columbus Art School, now known as Columbus College of Art and Design. He later taught at Ohio State University and served as president of the Columbus Art League.
Nicodemus lived and had his studio (Nicodemus Ferro-Stone Ceramics) on Clinton Heights Avenue. There he produced more than 1,000 molds in his basement workshop. He had two home-made kilns in the garage, which also housed a showroom. Nicodemus pieces are known for their translucent glaze highlighting the clay’s red tint and producing russet brown undertones. Upon Nicodemus’ death and at his request, all the molds and glazes were destroyed. (Photo courtesy of Darrell Nicodemus)