Meet the Maker | Emma Rose

Emma Rose is a maker in the truest meaning of the word, and the creative force behind Rooted in Mud. Growing up surrounded by artists, it's in her DNA to create, design and produce pieces of art which are come from a place of passion and heart. Not only do Emma's ceramics inspire, but they also become a staple part of your home. We sat down with Emma to find out more...


Tell us a little bit about yourself... Where are you based and what journey did you take to become the artist that you are today?

I grew up surrounded by artists of all kinds in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Making art and being creative has always come naturally to me and I have always sought out creative outlets wherever I have been. I think being in a community where art was so valued definitely wore off on me. I took a pottery class about 4 years ago because I thought it might be something I would like to pursue and I ended up totally falling in love with the medium. I moved to San Francisco in 2017 and joined a community pottery studio right away. So much of the journey has been exploration of different mediums and learning from different people.


What influences and inspires you?

I’d say that I draw most of my inspiration from the human experience. I love the concept that we as humans are able to create everything around us from scratch, armed only with the basic elements that we were given from the Earth. I spend a lot of time thinking about how people react to and interact with art, especially since pottery is such a tactile medium. At the beginning stages of each piece I always ask myself to think about how the piece will be used, and how I can envision people interacting with it. I really value my responsibility as a maker to create quality products, especially in our world so completely saturated with goods of all types. It is very important to me that what I make can offer something unique to the life of the person it ends up with; and I find so much that influences my work in the idea of making a beautiful thing that will be shared with another person’s life.


What does a typical day look like to you?

I live in beautiful, foggy San Francisco with my sweet dog Farro. I begin every day sitting in the garden sipping coffee from my very favorite mug, one of the first pieces I ever made on the wheel that I felt so proud of. This small space I carve out for myself every morning before I hit the ground running is so important, and helps me center my focus for the busy and productive day ahead of me. After that, the pooch and I will head to the dog park on our way into the pottery studio. I work out of a community studio where I share the space with several other artists. I love the communal vibe in the studio, it’s so wonderful to see what everyone else is making and to be able to share ideas and support one another. The process of pottery making has so many stages from beginning to end, and it can take weeks for a piece to be finished. This keeps my days really interesting because often I’m working on multiple projects at once, all in different stages of the process.


What are your favourite aspects of your work?

I love getting into the studio and putting my hands in the clay. Sitting down at the wheel is so therapeutic for me, it takes a lot of focus to center the clay and pull it into shape. This process is both so fluid and precise all at once, and the tactile nature of the craft is centering for me.


At NMJ we are all about the handmade artisan object and understand the love, time and effort involved in creating. What does it mean to you to have your ceramics become a part of peoples every day lives?

I spend a lot of time considering how my pieces will be interacted with in peoples’ every day lives. I glaze the bottom of my jewelry boxes and create a dramatic curve on the bottom of the pieces to encourage people to pick them up to cradle them in their hands. When making these boxes in particular, I envision people keeping their most precious treasures in them, and interacting with them on a daily basis, or pulling things out for special occasions. Because of this, I truly want each piece to be as special as the treasures they will contain.


What is your most treasured piece of jewellery in your jewellery box?

This question is so hard for me to answer! All of the pieces in my jewelry box have some sort of special quality about them. Some pieces I saved up to get and are made by artists I really admire, and they make me feel so badass and classy when I wear them. Others are gifts from friends, some are sentimental because they have been passed down to me by family. I am very intentional in the pieces that I keep in my life, and each is certainly treasured in its own unique way.


Do you have any advice on how to turn your passion into a living?

I think my most important, (and maybe overly simple) piece of advice for artists looking to begin selling their work, is to always create work you are proud of. When you make work that you stand behind, work that makes you happy to share with the people around you, getting paid for it will be the cherry on top.


Shop Rooted in Mud ceramics here.

Photography @soontani