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Delfina Emmanuel
I have always been captivated by hand sculpting and along the way clay found me .
Hand building has limitless possibilities and in the process of making I have found out that the unconscious plays a great role, it enables me to  meditate and relax, to examine ideas and emotions as they occur.
My first encounter with clay, a medium that I found immediately inviting, alluring and seductive was at Harrow College under the enthusiastic and professional teaching of John Higgins. John taught me how to master the technique as a necessity and also to express my own individuality by taking risks through experimentation: a visit to Stoke-on Trent ( also known as the world capital of ceramics ) added to the understanding of skills. Thanks to his teaching and encouragement, I undertook a degree course in Ceramics at the University of Westminster in Harrow and graduated  in 2007.
As a mature student in the world of ceramics I was gladly forced to investigate themes that I would never have encountered in my town of birth, Sardinia. Finding sources of inspiration has been a gradual process; visits to museums and seeing up-close artefacts previously seen only in books  reinforced my own practice. I have discovered that part of my thinking relates to my earlier studies of classics and in particular the fairy tales found in Latin and Greek poetry. This  led me, during my studies at Westminster to further my understanding  of the Italian Renaissance of the 15th and 16th century. At the Victoria and Albert Museum I was captivated by the distinctive work of the Della Robbia family; large panels and rosettes of enamelled earthenware with their distinctive brightness and shiny surfaces. Allegories alongside religious subjects and symbolisms found in the multicoloured fruits, flowers and leaves has helped to fine tune  my ideas.
I make sculptural ceramics, which are hand built and partly cast. The clay I use is a semi porcelain firing at much lower temperatures  than the body requires to obtain  a very white body that allows  colours to be vibrant in glazing, I apply the colours and stains to the raw vessels before bisque-firing and add lustres and liquid gold once glazed. Recently I have started using a porcelain clay at much high temperature with good results.
Nostalgia  has kept me deeply connected with my homeland of Sardinia, a country rich in marine life with its ancient customs and music, rich materials embellished with  precious jewellery that have survived the passage of time.
I am particularly captivated  by the gentle flowing and weightless movement  of living creatures found in the seabed, in particular: how their simple bodies evolves and take up different shapes: a cup, a tube or a vase, the protruding coral structure tentacles, the huge variety of  porous sponges and the porosity and patterns of their surfaces and in my vessels I aim to convey the feeling of preciousness and by capture this through the delicate elements found in nature.
With the desire to make my objects visually attractive I have found my "muse" in the Art of Imperial Russia trough the work of the goldsmith and jeweller Peter Carl Faberge`, best known for the famous eggs crafted between 1885 and 1917 for the Romanovs,  tsars Alexander III and Nicola II. Like many I was fascinated by the mystery surrounding them and the tragic fate of the family who commissioned them. They were Easter gifts for their wives and mothers and they hold a surprise meaningful to the recipient. Of the 52 eggs produced only 46 survived, one in particular has been influential to my work; the Hen Egg, a white enamel egg that reveals inside a  round yolk of gold and within the yolk a golden hen. The Faberge' Museum in Saint Petersburg is the custodian alongside many of other Faberge' treasures.
Fabrge`' work has enable me to find a balance between the original concept and the visual barrier the teapot holds. In my decoration I strive not only to provoke an escapism to the seas but also to make a connection with Britain my adoptive country and one of the world's great tea consumers. 
Since the beginning of my journey I have always been drawn to decoration, mimicking nature and the symbolism found in it like death and rebirth; the use of colours as an expression of the need to be seen. The egg shape and rounded forms have a deep symbolic meaning; hollow, yet generous, inviting new life with its surprise to come and as with the  Faberge's eggs the real treasure is  to be found  within. The teapot, for example, this hollow vessel used for century as a utilitarian item associated with domesticity provides a joyful challenge of transformation into an object of beauty and evolution, it's form has become the canvas which help to cultivate ideas and enabled me to really enjoy the process.
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