Meet Emmanuelle and learn about her unique ceramics brand. Her lace hearts are the perfect piece of Pittsburgh to gift to someone you love. Valentine's Day is coming up... hint, hint!
Emmanuelle Wambach Owner and Artist at Emmanuelle Ceramics.
Tell us about your brand and why it’s the best:
All of my ceramics are inspired by my mother. My mother, a master gardener and fiber artist,instilled in me a love of gardening and lace. She would explain that you can see history through gardens and the patterns in lace. She would tell me the name of every flower and show me her lace collection. I would look for pictures in the intricate weaving. Tree branches, flowers, and spiderwebs would loop and curl before me, making a whole realm of possibilities. My lace textured ceramics are my way of creating my own gardens and tapestries while honoring my mother’s passions for her craft. Using mid-fire stoneware clay, I create slab-built and wheel thrown canvases of simple forms and shapes, making the lace the focus of my work. The lace come from multiple time periods. I receive much of it from friends and family and I find it in antique and fabric shops and online. I impress the lace into the clay form, then highlight the surface wit colored underglaze and glazes. The breaking of the glazes over the lace pattern accentuates the natural surface and beauty of the clay underneath. Together the lace impressions, clay, and glaze, form a piece that captures a moment in time; like putting a memory in stone. Fabrics will fade, yellow, and fall apart but a ceramic lace plate or vessel can last millennia. I create heirlooms, gardens that can last lifetimes.
What is your background and the story behind why you started creating?
I was born in Harrisburg PA and assumed I would become a doctor until pretty much my last year of college. I always loved art but was always told it wasn’t very practical. However, in college I started taking ceramics as a way to relax during my pre-medical courses and I fell in love with it. It took a while for my parents to accept what I wanted to do, but now they’re my biggest supporters. I went to art school and got my Masters in Art at Indiana University of Pennsylvania outside of Pittsburgh. I worked at various studios and in retail until I moved to Pittsburgh in 2014. I joined Union Project as a co-op member and was lucky enough to be given a position in a ceramics residency in Japan in 2016. It was life changing. When I came back I was making ceramics with florals and lace. I didn’t think much would come of it. But I took some advice from friends and joined Monmade, a small business accelerator, and realized that I really could make my ceramics a business. And I’ve been making lace textured items ever since. And I love the support that I get from the community. And I get to do what I love which is also amazing!
What one product do we need to know about and why?
My lace hearts. I started the hearts during the pandemic as a way to spread a little bit of love. I thought there is so much going on in the world that maybe people just need something that will help them stop and remember that there are loved and cared about.
In three words, why do you love Pittsburgh?
pride, dedication, Flashdance!
(I know I know but it is true!)
How can people find out more about you?
I have a website emmanuelleceramics.com , where you can learn more about me and my business, as well as purchase items. I have an Instagram @emmanuellewambach where I am most active and post pictures of my work and my process, and I have a Facebook business page @emmanuellewambachceramics
Shop the rest of our Emmanuelle Ceramics Collection here!