Studio Emma is a small independent design and production studio which specialises in cast, pigmented concrete. Founded by Emma McDowall in 2016, we are based in St Margaret’s House Studios in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Emma studied BA Textile Design at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen, graduating in 2015. After graduating and moving back home, Emma had no access to textile printing facilities so she started to explore ways of making within her new spatial boundaries. She went back to drawing and painting, exploring and foraging – making wall hangings with fleeces found in the landscape and assembled and fused together found objects to make sculptural pieces.
One day, Emma came across a bag of cement in her parents’ shed and that’s where her relationship with concrete began. She spent the following months outside experimenting with mixes, using recycled forms as moulds. At this point Emma started focusing on colour and she developed her own way of adding colour into her concrete mix. The first collection of concrete vessels were created from this playful period and Studio Emma came into being. In the years since, Studio Emma products have been stocked in stores across the world – from Iceland to the US and including in the UK Liberty London, The Design Museum, London and TATE. Emma was thrilled to be awarded V&A Dundee Design Champion at the museum’s opening in 2018 and in 2019 to be commissioned to design trophies for both the Scottish Music Award and the SAY Award. Alongside running Studio Emma, Emma continues to explore different materials and processes in her own creative practice to keep developing her skills and growing her knowledge. She is currently working on a two collaborative projects with artists in other craft disciplines.
The small team at Studio Emma consists of Emma, studio assistant Aimee and studio dog Winston.
Studio Emma releases new products and colour ways throughout the year which are available to purchase here on our online shop and through our stockists.
All of the work is carefully made from start to finish in our studio. Our material process is unpredictable which creates organic surface patterns and textural qualities, resulting in each piece being completely unique. We aim to celebrate the imperfect and encourage curiosity with every product. There are many stages in our making process and each piece takes a week to be created.
Alongside our retailed product collections, we work on private, corporate and commercial commissions and projects and have the ability to design and manufacture bespoke products. You can see examples of these here.