Liz Emtage has been interested in ceramics since she was 5 years old. She did a Foundation course in London at Middlesex and then went on to do a degree in Ceramics at Bath College of Higher Education. In 1996 she set up her first studio in central London at Cockpit Arts. In 2015 Liz moved to St Leonards with her family and set up ‘Pelham’s fine furniture & ceramics’ on Kings Road.
Liz Emtage’s sculptural lighting and tiles exploit the malleable quality of porcelain clay – assimilating nature’s beauty through form, texture and colour. Her aim is to distill some of nature’s essence and encapsulate it in her work. When lit the lamps emit an ethereal glow converting the surface decoration into textures of light. When off, the lamps become sculptural pieces, rich with subtle surface pattern. Liz says “I want people to look at my work and feel a similar emotional response to that of gazing at a beautiful landscape or out to sea”.
Liz is happy to work to commission. Clients bring her their favourite flowers or plants, a favourite texture or pattern and she presses them into the porcelain clay. She then creates a unique piece of lighting or a tile panel. Many will tell Liz what their favourite flower is, or what flowers they had in their wedding bouquet and she will make a piece according to their specification. Liz loves the stories behind her clients’ choice of textures or colour: one family brought her leaves from a tree in their family home that they had had to move away from. She made a lighting piece for each member of the family, using the leaves, so they would be reminded of all the happy years they spent together in that house. Others have bought her wild grasses from their walks in the countyside. The grasses have then been pressed into the porcelain tiles and Liz has created a large splash-back in the clients’ kitchen. The glaze had to be carefully chosen to compliment the other tiles they already had in their kitchen.
As well as lighting and tiles, Liz also makes vases, night lights, coasters and porcelain pictures for the wall.