Meet the Crafters: Swimming Fox Studio

April 22, 2018 | Halifax Crafters Society

Calling all lovers of tiny things! Emily Blythe Brown of Swimming Fox Studio has all the ceramic cuteness you can handle. Her handmade creations, which she lovingly refers to as “ceramic critters,” come as mobiles, ornaments, planters, and more sure to add some happiness to your home or work space. Emily will be bringing her creations all the way from Hamilton, Ontario so make sure to welcome her, by checking out Swimming Fox Studio on May 5 & 6th!

Can you tell us about your process, Emily?

My ceramic items are hand sculpted, painted, glazed, and fired by me, in my home studio. I usually stick to one step per day, so it might be a sculpting day, or a glazing day, that helps keep me organized and keeps the mess down.

How long have you been making this body of work?

In 2015, I started making things out of white Sculpey, but I wanted more form options than I felt Sculpey could produce. I bought my kiln in the fall of 2016, and I fired my first batch of clay in January of 2017.

What’s your background?

When I applied to NSCAD I planned to focus on painting and/or ceramics. In my foundation year I found Intaglio Printmaking. I found the whole process so romantic, and I got completely sidetracked! After school, I entered the job market and I kind of struggled along doing watercolour and illustrations, feeling a little lost. After a move to Hamilton, Ontario, I landed a job teaching art, and I was reinvigorated. I had been doing my Sculpey creations by this point but the studio I worked in had a kiln and I fell in love.

Where do you work?

If I could work from bed, I would! But I have a beautiful sunny room in my home filled with plants, and it is by far the best room in the whole joint!

What is the best part about what you do?

Seeing people’s reactions to my work, especially kids. I think one of my favourite moments was when a young boy of about 8 came and looked over my table. He pointed to one of my fox ornaments and asked me if I was the person who made it. He leaned in and told me, “I really need to congratulate you on this, it’s really quite beautiful.” (heart = melted)

What do you want people to know about your work?

On the underside of some of my critters’ paws, I like to put in little foot prints. You don’t see it when looking at it, but it’s there, and I think that’s kind of special.

Tell us three random things about you.

I studied in Scotland for 3 months.

I’ve broken my nose four times!

I’ve made a few pinhole cameras; I love how simple they are but how much information they can capture.

Any favourite ways to procrastinate?

I’m embarrassed to say but I have this little jewel game on my phone and it has this mystery storyline about the Illuminati and the Knights of Templar … I’m so invested in the storyline now I can’t stop!

Favorite motto?

Time will tell.

Thanks for taking the time to give us some details on Swimming Fox Emily! Look forward to having you at the show, and safe travels!