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TEN MINUTES WITH / Emporium Julium

Century General Store

Tactile ceramics that are both practical and beautiful? They tick both boxes of William Morris's edict! Did you know that the building next door to our store is an old school now converted into artists' studios and occupied by several of the makers we stock?  One of its occupants, Julija of Emporium Julium, was due to hold a workshop in our store this month, and we're delighted to be able to chat with her virtually instead.

One of the best parts of running an independent store is that we get to meet makers from all walks of life who are doing their thing, honing their craft and putting passion & energy into everything they make. We get to fill our shelves with unique, handmade products, and to welcome people into the store to learn more through workshops and collaborations. This relationship with makers brings Century to life! While our bricks and mortar store is closed, we're sharing sneak peeks into the lives of those who make the products we stock, because we're all craving connection and community at the moment. So put the kettle on, sit back and find inspiration in our 'Ten Minutes With...' series over the coming weeks. First up, Julija...

Who are you and what do you make? 
My name is Julija @emporiumjulium and I am an Edinburgh based ceramicist. I make functional and decorative tableware, porcelain jewellery and occasionally some sculptural work.
What's the best thing about your work space?
I work in a shared ceramics studio @edinburghceramicsworkshop at Abbeymount Studios @ootbabbeymount. Our studio is very spacious and bright and the community of ceramicist practicing there is really inspiring.
Where do you find your inspiration online? And your inspiration in real life?
These days it is so easy to share and connect with other artists online, especially on Instagram. So some of my inspiration comes from seeing their work develop, but most of my inspiration comes from nature and our connection to the outside world. With my ceramics I try to bring the outside world inside, into our homes and daily lives. My recent work has included mixing clay with sand that I collect on my travels around Scotland. This creates textures and pattern that are unique and very tactile.
What's helping you through at the moment?
Currently I am keeping busy with a few different things like working on my online shop, gathering and refining new ideas and making plans for when I am able to get back to the studio. But when I want to relax at home I also do a bit of sewing, photography, drawing, cooking/baking and learning to juggle and play guitar.
What are you most looking forward to?
I really miss clay, throwing on the wheel, loading and unloading the kiln and seeing my studio friends on daily basis. So, I am really looking forward to being able to go back to the studio and start working on my collection for Potfest 2020 @potfest.co.uk that will hopefully happen this September.
/// Thank you so much for the photos and insight Julija! You can get lost in Julija's tactile ceramics and processes over on her instagram page  and you can buy her creations over on her Etsy shop.