Before Christmas we visited Isa Bilstein's pottery studio in Cardiff MET. Isa took us through her working process using the most amazing wooden kick wheel. She explained some of the finer points of creating functional pottery and brewed lots of coffee to keep us going.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with Emma Pughsley to document her working process, part of an ongoing photographic series of artists and the spaces in which they create art. Emma works from Cardiff Pottery Workshops by Central Station, an impressively stocked and maintained co-working space based in The Sustainable Studio. As the startup economy becomes ever more accessible, it only makes sense that artists make use of these co-working enterprises, they provide an opportunity to build a community and allow individuals to share knowledge and resources among likeminded creatives. This support structure is lacked by many art graduates on leaving education, and is undoubtably a contributing factor to why so many abandon their practice soon after their course ends. If you consider a ceramicist, the cost of a kiln itself is enough to be a deterrent for many, which goes to show why spaces like these are invaluable, particularly to culturally vibrant locales with potentially high populations of creative practitioners.
When I arrive at the studio Emma is already busy handbuilding a few animal heads for an upcoming craft stall. She directs me around the workspace and pours a cup of coffee into one of her own thrown mugs. A disembodied tentacle doubles as the handle, like much of her recent work it follows a zoological theme. She carries on working while I take a few photos of her handbuilding process before she moves on to the wheel. The studio is well lit with surprisingly accurate daylight balanced tubes, which makes for a easy photo session. I'm heading back next month to take finished photographs of her ceramic pieces and, if everyone’s schedules coincide, Dan will put together a short video of Emma in the studio.
For more on the Artist Studio Series visit: link