Lora Nestorova

Lora Nestorova is a final year student of Visual Arts at the New Bulgarian University, and she has already demonstrated her unique talent with her participation in three exhibitions. Lora makes ceramic sculptures; however, she also utilises a lot of other materials, such as acrylic and fabric, in the creation of her works.

For the making of her bizarre ceramic animals, Lora draws inspiration from her dreams, her professors, and a certain person whom she calls not just her muse but also her motivation. Her works do have symbolic meanings derived from family, intimate relationships, and inside jokes. Lora Nestorova believes that her success in ceramic arts will continue in the future.

Lora finds ceramics to be a fascinating medium. Working with it is a two-fold process – ceramics both guides and is guided by the artist. At the outset of the creative process, she never knows what the finished work will ultimately look like.

Many of Lora’s smaller artworks draw inspiration from inside jokes. In this artistic narrative, Lora assumes the enigmatic role of the feminine character. The presence of fishtails within Lora’s creations symbolizes themes of intimacy.

The individual who inspired the male character in Lora Nestorova’s works almost magically appears at the right moments and vanishes again, just like a mysterious muse. She believes in synchronism.

“Water Tiger contains several symbols: a duck, a tiger, and a fish – they are family symbols. Symbols of the intimate relationship, of the family. After I made the Water Tiger, I started paying more attention to the symbolism I use in my works.”


Lora graduated from the Construction and Architecture High School in Sofia, Bulgaria, and while she studied there, she realised that her future career would not be connected to either construction or architecture.

The young author chose to study Visual Arts at New Bulgarian University driven by a profound creative impulse that had always resided within her, and she wanted to avoid studying maths at all costs. She comes from a family of architects and diplomaed engineers - however, she felt so passionate about visual arts that she couldn’t see her career infold in any other way.

People found Lora’s choice of studies to be rather strange as she couldn’t draw, but that didn’t stop her from pursuing what makes her heart excited and happy. “It all happened quite accidentally”, she shared with us. The young talent realised that despite her inability to draw at an academic level, she could be successful in other forms of art.

Her first encounters with ceramics were at the University, when Prof. Monica Popova organised a visit to the university atelier, even before the start of the academic year. Prof. Popova is a renowned, internationally recognised artist, also on the Fortelier platform, who has specialised in Egyptology and contemporary ceramics. She is the founder and main moving force behind the ceramics atelier at the New Bulgarian University. Prof. Monica Popova considers ceramic art to be a woman’s creative outlet as it is the first and only craft that is done mainly by women in Bulgaria.

Lora’s first year at the University was dedicated to the study of drawing, , a subject she found to be challenging. However, during her second year, Lora started her practical studies with three-dimensional objects. Initially she specialised glass art, but soon realised that it wasn't her true calling, as glass, despite its delicate nature, did not excite her as she had hoped.

Once she began regularly attending Professor Popova's atelier, despite initially lagging behind her fellow students, Lora quickly made remarkable progress. Under the guidance of Professor Monica Popova, the aspiring artist successfully crafted her first artwork, a piece that humorously depicted a dog (illustrated below). It was inspired by her pet chihuahua, that she felt looked a bit like a seal. The piece remained as a gift to her father, symbolising her gratitude for allowing her to follow her dreams and for not pressuring her into pursuing a career in engineering. That’s how Lora’s career in ceramics started.
2001 - Born in Sofia, Bulgaria


  • 2019 - Graduated from the Construction and Architecture High School in Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2023 - Senior-year student of Visual Arts at New Bulgarian University in Sofia, Bulgaria


  • 19.05.2022 CI13. San Stefano Gallery. Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 21.02-17.03.2023 Heads-Tails. Serdica Gallery. Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 18.05-13.06.2023 Inside Joke. San Stefano Gallery. Sofia, Bulgaria

The Seal Dog sparked Lora’s inspiration to delve into creating hybrids. For instance, the Water Tiger, in a unique and intriguing manner, amalgamates several symbols – a duck, a tiger, and a fish – which represent intimate relationships and the concept of family.


After she made The Water Tiger, Lora‘s interest in the symbolism she infused into her artworks began to deepen. The young artist’s search for meaning and symbolism was also provoked by the weekly lectures on the History of Art organised by Alina Papazova, a prolific ceramics academician.


Lora begins her creative process by sketching the fundamental elements of her work, although her sketches tend to be quite general. The finer details emerge and take shape during the actual crafting process. For instance, she can sculpt the head of a dog in ceramics, but she finds it challenging to capture those details through drawing alone.


The Atelier

The Seal Dog is the first piece in a series of three ceramic party animals. The other two in the series are The Rabbit Hen and The Water Tiger, both of which are showcased on Fortelier.

Photo by Dimitar Dimitrov
Photo by Dimitar Dimitrov

Whenever Lora is in the process of creating a ceramic piece, she often experiences a sense that something might not be quite right with the work. However, in the end, the final result always exceeds her initial expectations.

Photo by Dimitar Dimitrov

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