Meet the maker: Adventures with clay

Hey there, my names Emma and I’m in Edinburgh. 

My Adventures with Clay began a few years ago when I couldn’t resist the temptation to buy a bag of clay and have a play. I’d been working for many years from my studio at Summerhall on my jewellery & running workshops and was so curious about ceramics. I thought it would be fun to maybe try slab building and slip casting, and I played away to my hearts content for many months. Eventually I came to a point where I had an important decision to be made. I didn’t have a ceramics kiln, I had to decide whether to invest in one, or give it up. I researched met with managers and the electrician and six months after I bought my first bag of clay my studio was home to a SkuttKM1027 kiln.

Early 2020 was an exciting time, things were going really well and to top it off I was getting married that summer. Or so I thought. You guessed it – the pandemic hit. Workshops were cancelled, shops closed, and we all had to stay at home. I focused on small things like getting myself wedding dress ready and trying to drag my teen (who was living his best life with no school) out for our daily walk. Then In April 2020 my world turned upside down when a fire which started in the flat below broke into ours. The damage to our home was bad, and we ended up living in temporary digs in a basement with concrete floors and bare plaster walls. I began to take some pottery home to play with (looking back it’s this that kept me sane). I made molds, experimented with colours, learned a-lot about glazes, all sorts really. 

Finally almost a year later my wonderful mum gifted me a wheel and we moved back into our home. These days most of my studio time Is focused on my pottery, the majority of which is thrown on the wheel from stoneware. I make functional pots like bowls, cups, wax melt burners, vases and lots and lots of mugs (now that I’ve finally got a grip with attaching those handles!!) I’m also known for my Rain Pots. I love the endless possibilities that glazing offers and now after it scaring me stiff it’s one of my favourite parts of the process. I’m also (after resisting for a long time) playing with adding a little gold lustre to my pots.

As things have started to open up again I’ve taken part in a couple of Support the Makers events, most recently the 1st pop up shop at the St James Q here in Edinburgh. I’m signed up for the next one and am really looking forward to it! After many years of selling my jewellery at a busy fair during the Festival I’m excited to the there with my pots (even though it’s a bit more of a faff transporting them all around). I’m lucky to have a few stockists of my work in Edinburgh and beyond, and I update my website with pots regularly. 

Looking back I can’t quite believe such a rocky road led me to making my pots pretty much full time, I look at every pot as a silver lining. I just hope I can weather out what is already looking like another rocky year for us makers. For my part I’ll be shopping small (and maybe one day finally getting married)

You can check out my work on Instagram @adventureswith_clay or on my website at www.adventureswithclay.co.uk

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