Emily-Kriste Wilcox

Emily-Kriste Wilcox works from her studio in Birmingham, and has been a professional ceramicist for over 15 years. She was recently awarded ‘Best Ceramics and Painting Studio 2020’ in the West Midlands category of the UK Enterprise Awards.

As a specialist in handbuilding, she has developed her ceramic practice to create pieces suitable for interior décor, with an emphasis on bringing elements from the outside world into the home. Using a painterly approach, each of these slabbuilt ceramic vessels holds an abstract interpretation that can often be attributed to the landscape.  Blues, greens and greys predominate the colour palette, with splashes or accents of colour to punctuate the otherwise subtle surfaces.

Emily’s strong ability to convey a sense of place through her use of clay is effective due in part to a painterly expression that has become her signature style. The colours and textures of the ever-changing skies, seas, coastline and accompanying landscape are a constant source influencing her explorations within the ceramic materials, where each vessel becomes its own painting and can reflect a particular moment in time. The flick of a paintbrush for example, the marks made, the tools used, and the surrounding environment all play their part in this.

Coastal colours feature regularly in the collections – with strong navy blues or muted tonal combinations of soft blues reminiscent of the sky and sea; others are slightly bolder or with a focus on greenery that may be more representative of those colours you would find across the hills or amongst the garden.

Emily’s construction process has developed and refined to a point where early influences of dressmaking patterns, juxtaposition of colours and texture, are combined with this painterly approach of surface treatment. She continues to make reference to the tea caddies from the V&A collection for exploration of form, which in turn inform the continuation of mark making, where the story or the view travels around the multi-faceted panels with an effortless flow of movement, softly punctuated by a considered coloured seam or join.

All vessels are slabbuilt using a white earthenware body which is then treated to layers of decorating slips to achieve the desired depth of surface. Pieces often go through multiple firings and as each is individual, the process of building up the surface varies accordingly.

Each handcrafted vessel remains individual, each one a unique painting in clay.