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 in wood workshops and laundry rooms. 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, behind a big gate, the studio is not easily accessible for visitors. This makes the studio very private and secluded, but also difficult for shipping companies, supplies and customer interactions. In the future I’ll be looking for a shop space to expand into.
about the ceramics
Almost all work produced at studio emma sophia is functional pottery; products that can be utilised in daily life, rather than strictly decorative pieces. I want to find that sweet spot where a pot feels precious but not so much that you’re afraid of touching and using it.
My main method of making is wheel throwing but I also love handbuilding techniques, sometimes mixing the two. I tend to focus on the colour and feel of the natural clay, which is why I go easy on glaze colours. Mostly using only white and transparent glazes to finish my pieces, or simply leaving them raw and unglazed. The amount of glazing depends in part on the functionality of the piece.
I have several favourite types and colours of clay I use, which I sometimes 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 1240 degrees C. 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.
My name is Emma Grout and I am the founder, maker, designer, customer relations manager, cleaning lady and social media content maker at studio emma sophia. It is a one woman show.
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. At the end of that year I set out to do a simple beginners course in pottery to get myself back into making. There wasn’t much room to make simple things with my hands during my research and concept based art degree. It took only one pottery lesson for me to become obsessed.
It would be a few years of weekly lessons before, in May 2017, studio emma sophia was born. I was fed up with not making any use of my art degree and decided to make a few big changes. So, I quit my hospitality 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 made (as a barista) in my studio and business.
More than three years later the studio is making money, I am working less as a barista (though I still love doing that) and I no longer have to live with my parents. I am now looking for ways to grow the studio and expand into teaching and a fysical store.
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.
Want to buy a studio emma sophia product but can't find what you're looking for on my webshop right now? Maybe one of my stockists can help you out.
YIRGA // Sint Annastraat 19C, 4811XK Breda // www.yirga.nl // IN STORE ONLY + LOCAL PICKUP POINT
Graen Studios // www.graenstudios.com // ONLINE ONLY
Klay Copenhagen // Gunløgsgade 15, kld. tv, 2300 København, Denmark // www.klay.dk // ONLINE AND IN STORE
Stilleven // Lange Hofstraat 18, 7201 HV Zutphen // www.eenstilleven.com // ONLINE AND IN STORE
Raket & Distels // www.raketendistels.myshopify.com // ONLINE ONLY
BijDaan // Hessenweg 194, 3731 JN De Bilt // www.bijdaandewinkel.nl // IN STORE ONLY
Ryoko Berlin // Friedelstraße 11, 12047, Berlin Neukölln // www.ryoko-berlin.com // ONLINE AND IN STORE
Petit Depot // Breestraat 25, 2011 ZX, Haarlem // www.petitdepot.nl // ONLINE AND IN STORE
Helen B & vrienden Pop Up Shop // Vrijdagmarkt 28, 9000, Gent // www.helenb.be // IN STORE ONLY
Skattejakt // Koningstraat 15, 6654 AA, Afferden // www.skattejakt.nl
Form Lifestyle Store // 6 Bradley St, Manchester M1 1EH, United Kingdom // www.form-shop.com