emmakaye avatar

Emma Kaye

Workexchange Artist - Past


Emma Louise Kaye is a Silica Artist, Educator and Nomad. After graduating with a BFA in Art History from Pratt Institute in 2014, she soon became involved in the Ceramics scene in Brooklyn and NYC.  She worked as a production potter at a dinnerware company, and assisted other artists and potters throughout the city, doing everything from fabricating molds and building sculpture to making and assembling large ceramic beaded curtains. In addition, Emma taught and ran pottery classes and workshops for adults and children through her local ceramics studio and worked as a teaching artist within after school programs in NYC public schools. Before her recent move to Philadelphia, Emma spent a year living and working at different craft schools around the country developing her own work.


Occupying the realms of pottery, sculpture and design, the objects that I create are inspired by the subtlety and harmony of natural landscapes. Using the potter’s wheel as one of my primary tools, I establish the center of gravity for my pieces. From there, I paddle, cut and alter the clay, emerging with an object that may be vaguely functional, figurative, or biomorphic. As I work with clay and explore these spatial relationships, I contemplate the feelings that arise when an undulating edge dips or a bowl sits stout, making adjustments along the way to achieve a balanced, organic quality to the work, that feels wholesome, satisfying and complete.

Clay is a medium that I have always felt a strong affinity with. Perhaps it is its tactility, which recalls the marsh I grew up on near the Long Island Sound in Connecticut. As a child, the smell of low tide beckoned me to discover and collect a diverse array of plants, sea species, shells, egg sacs, and stones. I found solace in the earthy smells and textures of this landscape. Working with clay, I build a bridge from my past self to my present self, converting the abstractions of memory and time into a physical expression.

 When I am working in the rhythm studio is when I feel the most free.  It allows me the space to be experimental, analytical and continually introspective about my process, materials and environment. Throughout my cycle of forming and firing, I encounter technical challenges with each new development or direction I may go. Recognizing my own successes and failures with honesty is a vital part of my process that keeps me in constant motion and open to discovery.