A bit about Emma…
Every object I create is driven by a love of subtle and sensual forms and a passion for design and making. I enjoy the tactility of clay both during the making process and after firing and am excited by the possibilities and restraints which the material offers.
My first degree was in 3d crafts at the university of Brighton, specialising in ceramics and metalwork, so i have a breadth of experience working with a range of different materials and a sensibility for thinking and designing through making. At Brighton i loved exploring the possibilities and limitations of materials in both in sculptural and design contexts.
I went on to study for a masters in ceramics design at central saint martins, where my research took me to factories in Stoke-on-Trent and Germany. It was during this time that the importance of use became very clear in my work and my interest in functional design and the detailing of industrial products had a huge impact on the way i approach my work now.
People are initially drawn in by the shape and colour of my pieces then continue to explore and discover details the longer they hold them for. The contrast between a matt and glossy glaze might encourage you to explore the surface, or the form might make you hold a cup in a particular way. The dent in the everyday range allows the person holding it to get a sense of the softness of the clay just after the shape is thrown on the wheel. I love the thought that the material properties of an object can connect the designer or maker’s experience to that of the person using it.
Large everyday mug is what I’m best known for. The shape has had a long evolution, beginning with my experimental drawings, photographs and three-dimensional studies of the human body, and leading through to material explorations in clay and metal to represent these sensual lines and forms. After a lot of research into functional design and studying how people interact with objects, i played with the notion of functionality by adding handles to my sculptural vessels – suddenly they were jugs and mugs, and it all clicked into place! I call myself a designer and maker, but there is certainly a sculptural quality in my work that can be held and experienced.
To me clay is so exciting because it’s a material with endless possibilities, and I love experimenting with it. Yes, working with clay can be soothing, but you also have to be very focused! The shape of my everyday mug has taken me years and years to perfect. I hand throw each piece on my potter’s wheel, the tactile, organic nature of the material juxtaposing my precise aesthetic – I’m drawn to geometric forms but also enjoy the way i can manipulate the soft clay to interrupt sharp lines and angles.