Artist in the Spotlight : Emma West

Textile4Emma West’s ceramics are part of the textiles exhibition, even though the finished work is in porcelain, because her subtle and sketch like wall panels start as embroidery.

Emma West established her ceramics studio in 2000. What was planned as a career break from her work as an archivist soon became a full time passion. Although the world of historical manuscripts is behind her a sense of heritage and historical continuity filters through her work. Emma’s style and approach to porcelain is sensitive, she has developed a creative technique focussing on surface texture and impression, using glazes to emphasize design.

45-EmmaWestThe use of textiles in Emma’s work is a relatively new departure. An embroidery ‘image’ is hand stitched, quite loosely, allowing threads to fall freely and give a ‘sketch’ quality to the piece. The embroidered cloth is then impressed into the unfired porcelain.

At this stage various freehand marks are made in the clay altering each piece. Glazes are subsequently applied to reveal the imprint bringing the permanence of porcelain to the fragility of a stitch. Whilst the colour palette is not broad it is classic; gradations of blues, greens, greys and turquoise underpin the subtle detail of the surface line.Textile5