about the studio
Studio emma sophia produces small batch handmade ceramics and functional pottery. All items are designed and made, from lump of clay to finished piece, by me, Emma Grout, in my studio in Breda, The Netherlands.
I rent my studio space in the former Breda prison building, a stunning 19th century panopticon dome. Sadly my space isn't located within this dome, rather in a nearby annex which housed several workshops where the inmates used to work. My studio was never a cell which is why it is a very bright and open space with positive vibes.
Because of its location on the prison grounds, the studio is not so easy to reach. One needs to know the way within the prison walls and several keys to get through all the doors and gates. This makes the studio both very private and secluded, but also a pain to get supplies and customers to.
about the ceramics
Almost all work produced at studio emma sophia is functional pottery, products that can be utilised rather than strictly decorative pieces.
My main method of making is wheel throwing but I love handbuilding techniques also, sometimes mixing the two. Because my main focus is the colour and feel of the clay I tend to go easy on glaze colours. Mostly using only white and transparant glazes to finish my pieces, or simply leaving them raw and unglazed.
I have several favourite types and colours of clay I like to use, which I mix together to create new colours and textures. All of the clay that is 'wasted' during throwing or trimming I collect for recycling. Because of all the different types of clay I use the recycled clay is always a unique colour, every batch a little different.
All my work is made using stoneware clay and fired in an electric kiln to 1220 degrees C (unless stated otherwise). It is watertight, strong and dishwasher/oven safe, though it is always my advice to treat handmade items carefully and wash by hand if possible.
about the maker
My name is Emma Grout and I am the founder, maker, designer, bookkeeper, cleaning lady and social media manager at studio emma sophia. As a graduate from the fine art department of the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, I discovered ceramics shortly after finishing my fine art degree in 2014. I set out to do a simple beginners course in pottery to get myself back into making things with my hands after all the research and concept based art making in art school. It took only one lesson for me to become obsessed.
It would still be a few years of weekly lessons before, in May 2017, studio emma sophia was born. Suddenly I was fed up with not making any use of my art degree and I decided to do things differently. So I quit my job in Rotterdam, gave up my apartment and asked my parents if I could move back home. This enabled me to invest all the money I make (as a barista and cook) in my studio and business.
If you want to know more about me please feel free to ask. Also, follow along on Instagram where I am quite active and share a lot about what I'm up to.