One Piece at a Time
The practical side of Isabelle Abramson '07 led her to study nursing at Boston College, while the dreamer in her reveled in the ceramics electives she took at the Heights.
Upon graduation, she became a school nurse, but—as an aspiring artist—she worked nights and weekends developing a signature style of porcelain design that "incorporates patterns of negative space into functional works of art."
Now, Abramson only occasionally serves as a substitute school nurse and spends most of her days in Boston's South End, perfecting her craft in her loft studio in a converted nineteenth-century mill.
She's become known for her finely crafted white porcelain bowls and vases with striking organic patterns and delicate openwork. Most designs take three to four hours to make, and larger pieces need up to 15 hours each. Abramson is also developing ceramic pendants and table lamps similarly inspired by forms in nature.
"I work on one piece at a time," she says, "and I'm completely engrossed in weighing what the material can handle while making sure the design of the piece is the main focus."
Her creations were featured in Boston Globe Magazine this spring and have also received positive buzz from Boston Home magazine. Abramson opens her studio by appointment, and her works can be viewed at www.isabelleabramson.com.
Below, Abramson finds another means of expression:
What is the most satisfying moment in your professional life?
The rare instances when I meet someone who has "heard of me." It always blows my mind. I'm thinking, "I haven't heard of me!"
In your personal life?
I'm in love with the gardens I tend outside of work.
What is your best BC memory?
I think walking out of my last final at the end of nursing school was one of the most completely satisfying moments of my life.
What is your next goal?
I'd like to add a few more products to my collection and refine some of the designs I've been using.
What is one thing everyone should do while at BC?
Go to a football game.
How have you changed since graduation?
I am much more self-confident and optimistic.
Why did you decide to attend BC?
I think, initially, BC's campus was what drew me.
What is the secret to success?
Find the thing that you would do if you had no material needs.
Where is your favorite spot on the Heights?
The rooftop of the Beacon Street Garage. As a commuter student, I would sit in my car on the roof and listen to music before class.
What would you do if you were BC president for a day?
I'd have everyone go into the city and volunteer for a day.
What was your first job?
After I graduated, I worked for two months as a school nurse in the Putney (VT) School summer program, and then, in the fall, I started working as a school nurse at a private school in Brookline.
Where did you live during your senior year?
In an off-campus apartment in West Roxbury.
How do you relax?
I meditate and garden.
What was your favorite BC class?
"Ceramics" with Professor Mark Cooper.
What do you look forward to each day?
Working in my studio.
What was your favorite BC activity?
Using BC's wonderful and amazing ceramics studio—located in Connolly House across Beacon Street.
What is something your friends don't know about you?
My favorite show growing up was Little House on the Prairie.
How much can you sing of the BC fight song?
None of it. Unfortunately, I missed out on going to football games.
Who would play you in the film version of your life?
What was the best meal at the BC dining hall?
Coffee and a banana.