Working from her garden studio on the South East coast of England, Esme is inspired by the textures of pebbles on the beaches and the cliffs that surround them. Infusing ancient folklore of the sea and woodlands, she skillfully interweaves these narratives into the unique silhouettes of her creations.
Inspired by ancient icons and vessels Esme’s work echos the forms of Neolithic fertility statues, exploring rituals of the human experience with clay.
Esme’s approach to ceramics focuses on the material, working with textured and heavily grogged clay. Experimenting with what is possible with the natural clay body, using raw, textured and burnished finishes, with hand-building techniques which have existed for millennia.
She continues to be fascinated by artefacts in museums and the cyclical nature of ceramics being rediscovered in the ground from which they came. Sometimes working with her own locally sourced wild clay, foraging and processing the clay for a deeper connection with the environment and the traditions of early pottery.
The tactile nature of hand building allows her to reflect on what may be contained within an object in both its functional and symbolic intent. When placed in modern environments and domestic settings it highlights the presence of ceramics in our everyday lives, using ceramics as we always have, both in the mundane and as objects of admiration.
At studio Genuine Beige, ceramics is celebrated for its harmonious relationship with nature and sustainability is at its core.
From clay, sourced a stone's throw away and with a "no clay goes unused" approach, Esme reclaim every off-cut, scraping, and carving, ensuring that nothing is discarded. With clay's incredible plasticity, there's no limit to how many times it can be reclaimed. While some ceramics use glazes with potentially harmful chemicals and require energy-intensive second firings, Studio Genuine Beige takes a different approach. Glazes are rarely used, and Esme primarily embrace burnished and raw finishes, allowing her to fully appreciate the material she is working with. This not only minimises environmental risks but also showcases the clay's inherent beauty. The home-studio kiln is electric and exclusively uses energy from a sustainable supplier. For items made in a shared pottery studio, ceramics are fired with hundreds of other pieces at a time, making efficient use of energy resources.