Emma Welsh

  • Koulores.jpg Kou, 2006 Steel and bone china. Photo credit: Mark Welsh.
  • ova1_hr.jpg Ova, 2006. Bone china and LEDs. Photo credit: Mark Welsh.
  • Suru4.jpg Suru, 2010. Steel and bone china. Photo credit: Mark Welsh.
  • chervil1.jpg Chervil, 2010. Steel with roll steel flowers. Photo credit: Mark Welsh.

What inspires me

Clay inspires me; once you’ve used it you’re hooked for life. Discovering bone china and porcelain however took everything to a different level. The last year of my degree gave me time to explore porcelain’s versatility, using manufacturing techniques to cast it paper thin. When fired it has an ethereal quality unlike any other clay I’ve used. I find bone china is the perfect vehicle to relay my love of the natural world. All those moments of inspiration get stored away, finally finding an outlet somehow in this material. I don’t always realise till after the piece is finished where the inspiration originated.

Making in the Midlands

I was born in Stoke on Trent, and the creative environment there has definitely influenced my outlook. I feel a very personal connection to its ceramic industrial heritage, and find it very rewarding to work with the remaining manufacturers and craftsmen whose ancestry (and mine) is directly rooted in the birthplace of studio pottery in England.

What has changed most about the crafts in the last thirty years

People have always made beautiful things: often with pragmatic rather than artistic goals, but always stamped with a personal or regional identity that evolved gradually over time, matching nature’s slow pace, extending over many generations. However, the pace of recent change has in some respects disconnected crafts – especially distinctive vernacular styles – from their heritage, their roots. In today’s fast-moving, technologically sophisticated world everyone has access to the same sources of inspiration and wants to create work in a hurry. I think it’s important to get away from all that and allow your creativity to define itself and communicate something personal that relates to specific traditions.