I remember first seeing Emily at a Kansas City shop that specializes in local goods. She's a ceramic artist whose works are coveted across the United States, making her way from the inspiring stores of Anthropologie to editor’s picks in popular magazines. Her pottery is designed with care, each unique to the eye, holding a feeling of familiarity. They appear delicate, yet well-worn, a feature that Emily has perfected in her technique.
Nebraska was soggy as I drove the puddled streets to Emily’s home in Omaha. The melancholy mood that rain brings is a favorite of mine, perfect for long talks & deep discussion. As I pulled up to the steps of her house, she came out onto the porch in a long flowing number accompanied with a bright smile. She was a lovely contrast to the brood outside. Although it was only my second time meeting her, I was immediately at ease in Emily's company. She gave me a tour of her downstairs studio, with the nostalgic smell of ceramic & basement colliding. We sat amidst the pattering rain on windows & talked into the afternoon. Her pup, Ruby, never leaving the safety of her side; peeking out at me & deciding my character for the entirety of my visit.
AA: I love your overall tone & mood of the space that you live & work in. Can you describe this environment, how you feel in the place that you’ve made to create in?
ER: "I believe a person’s home is an extension of who they are – a self portrait. So I do my best to create that space for myself too. A person’s home, their collections & their most treasured keepsakes have always fascinated me. Those are the objects that mean the most to me in my home & I love to surround myself with these coveted goods. My home is where I feel most comforted, & most like myself, so it feels natural to me to work from home too. Right now my studio is feeling really small & crowded, so I’m hoping start sticking my neck out looking for a new workspace. That will have to be set up & decorated as an extension of my home, so that will be fun!"
AA: Can you talk a little bit about the community here in Omaha? Do you think that having support artistically in community is important?
ER: "It feels like Omaha is on the verge of becoming something bigger, & I’m really excited about that. I’ve been here for about 1 year & it’s taken me about that long to connect with the Omaha creative community. I’m looking forward to being someone that helps push Omaha towards creative growth & prosperity. Artistic support in my community is really important to me, so the last year has been pretty difficult – navigating the waters without that community backing me. But I’m starting to grow my presence here, & it’s been really fun to step outside of my comfort zone & get to know the community here. I’m just now starting to find my way in Omaha & I’m feeling more & more optimistic about it!"
AA: What comes to mind when you think about the term ‘artist’. Why do you think so many of us struggle to describe ourselves in that way?
ER: "I never want to sound too pretentious when I say that I’m an artist, but it’s hard not to be proud of that! I used to be a little bashful about what I was doing, kind of talking down what I was making so that I didn’t have to talk too much about it. Which is silly! It takes a lot of confidence for me to talk openly about what I do – I feel like I’ve just gained that confidence in the last few months. It’s definitely become a lot easier for me to talk about more recently."
AA: Describe how you relate to your own art and how you see others reacting/relating to what you create.
ER: "I feel like I am The Object Enthusiast. I am so enamored by people’s things & “stuff”, so the goal was to create objects that earned the right to be among other people’s cherished goods. So my brand has evolved, but all the while it still feels so much like who I am. I think people have always recognized that some objects hold more meaning than others, & I am truly honored when I see something I’ve created earn the right to be among other people’s prized possessions. That’s why I create!"
See more at: The Object Enthusiast