Monday, December 15, 2008

Emily Jull of Nesting Emily

Emily Jull, Ontario, Canada
Nesting Emily

1. How would you describe your style?

I guess I am still figuring that out. I know what I want it to be- dreamy, simple, organic, clean, warm, textural- I want to make pieces that have energy and make people feel good, strong, calm and whole. Tall order I know.

2. I was looking through your flickr account and it was interesting to see how your work has evolved. You've uniquely incorporated both felting and stitching into your work - really setting yourself apart. I noticed the change in style starting around Feb of this year. Was it the haircut? Can you share what inspired it?

I had just finished a 2 year apprenticeship with a very inspiring potter. She was very hands off- encouraging me to find my own voice in the clay. When I left her studio I left a gas kiln and wood kiln. Which means I couldn't do the same work even if I wanted to. So I decided rather than pineing for the old I would run with the new.

Insert a bit of off time to figure out what that would be. Much inspiration from my friends (in person and on flickr). A haircut. A meeting with a friend who talks to the dead.

It was fun starting from scratch. I picked 2 clays I liked which i could fire to cone 6 (the kiln I do have access to), just did forms I love and find instinctual and then added in my other great love textiles...I am still at the beginning of this path but it feels very right.

3. What part of the pottery process is your favorite? Which part makes you tear your hair out?

I love to throw on the wheel. There is nothing like it for me. I feel like I have found my place and am at one with the universe- cliché I know but so true. It is a form of meditation for me.

I really don’t like the trimming and mostly have found ways to avoid it.

I think there are 2 kinds of potters- those who adore making the form and those who adore decorating the form…I am the former (in both ways).

4. Do you have any craft idols or crushes?

Oh wow…well I am prone to crushes and thanks to flickr, etsy and amazing blogs like yours I have a bunch. Here are some in no particular order:

Lisa Solomon (I adore her use of doilies and lace), Amy of Nightjar Books (she is a craft kindred spirit), Cathy of November Moon (her work is a perfect love child of art and craft), Rachel of Display Lady (I still can’t believe I own a piece of her simple and perfect art- I swoon at it framed in my living room), Carol of Yorktown Road (her style is so textural and celebrates line in such a joyful way and the linen-yum), Danna of Groundwork (I want to live in her paintings, they make me feel light and joyful and close to nature), Diana Fayt (her pottery is like a great print and great pot and a great daydream all rolled into one), Melissa of Poodle Breath (I want everything she makes!!)…and there are so many more…all the sweet spinners and felters (Adrian of Hello Yarn, Tanis Alexis and Lynn of Yarnwench) and the kicker is they are all sweet and beauteous too!!!

5. How long have you been doing this for and how did it all begin?

I first threw a pot in my high school pottery class at age 17 (I am now 36). I knew right away I was in love and had found my thing. I ran to my friends and told them I would give up sex and chocolate for the pottery wheel (I was a virgin and chocolate addict at the time- so I only semi knew what I would be giving up). Thankfully I have never had to choose.

6. If you could put your products on the shelves of any 3 stores, which ones would you choose?

Distill Gallery in Toronto, Karen Errikson’s shop- Manos and Rare Device…haven’t even been to two of them but from what I know….

7. What's your background? Did you go to art school? Where did you learn your craft? Do you do this full-time?

I was raised by artists, always loved art and went to art school (and promptly dropped out). I wasn’t brave enough to call myself an artist till I was 35 though. I have learned from other potters and artists. I am lucky with finding teachers.

I don’t do it full time (yet). I run a gallery shop in a national gallery dedicated to clay and glass. I’d rather be muddy though.

8. One of the hardest things for artists to do is to stand apart from everyone else. How long did it take you to come up with your own style and signature look? What advice can you give aspiring artists struggling to find their own voice and look?

My style is still in it’s infancy but I know it comes from my love of the simple, the natural, the raw, the organic.

I would say even though it is a cliché start an inspiration board of anything you love- not just art, not just your medium- everything…then start distilling it down. What do you really LOVE about this and that- is it the line? Colour? Texture? Strip down your inspirations….what are you left with? That’s your soul talking- run with it!

9. What inspires you, what are some things you love...

The pods of dying plants in the fall, good dark chocolate, Stevie Wonder’s music from the 70’s, fearless and kind people and their work, shades of white, children’s artwork and adults who have reclaimed that looseness (lotta jansdotter etc), random old wood/linen things, wet felted fabric, animals (especially wolves, foxes, whales, deer, hares and bears), silver birch trees and the great craft collective we are a part of.

Thanks Emily!!

Images: Emily Jull


nesting.emily said...

Hi Marichelle, thanks so much for this!
My computer did something weird and I lost all my e-mails etc. And I want to talk to you- could you pretty please e-mail me??
Thanks, Em xoxo

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading this interview! I have one of Emily's very lovely 'hold' jars and it is very much treasured.

Melissa de la Fuente said...

Oh, this is just so adorable! Emily sounds like a complete doll and I love her work! So beautiful and a really fun interview!

tanisalexis said...

I am a huge fan of emily and this interview only nails that feeling even more. :) thanks for interviewing such a kind and genuine person.

lulubeans said...

emily is one of my most favorite people who i have "met" online! she is so talented and so very kind as well.
i am so happy to read this interview!