Born in Bristol in 1988, Emily Waugh grew up seeing an oil landscape painted by her grandfather
and having to resist the temptation to feel the richly textured paint. Ever since, she has felt that art
should be something that could be touched and used as well as looked at.
At the University of Wolverhampton she studied an Applied Arts BA and MA, and decided that she
would make clay her primary material of choice. During her MA, in 2012, she met Okuda Tomoko,
and travelled to Japan to work as her pottery and gallery assistant for two months in Tokoname.
Since arriving back in the UK, she has been busy translating what she saw and discovered in Japan
into her porcelain tea ware and bowls, inspired by the Zen Buddhist principles of the tea ceremony
and Japanese calligraphy. Struck by the Japanese way of using a material’s natural properties to
make objects beautiful, she has been exploring the fluid properties of porcelain in relation to the
energy and marks left by the creator. She aims to create tactile objects for people to use or
experience, that will engross as many of the senses as possible so as to more fully engage the
individual in the moment they are in. By doing this she hopes to create a quiet space in time for
them to reflect and be at peace in what is usually a frenetic, chaotic world.
She completed her MA with a distinction in 2014, and started working as a gallery assistant for
Oxford Ceramics Gallery and as a pottery assistant, first to Dan Hide and then to Margaret O’Rorke.
When she isn’t working in one of her new roles, she concentrates on making her own designs and
collaborating with fellow makers, including organising and curating group exhibitions.
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