Potter and founder of the eponymous ceramics company takes us round her digital world, from her second home in Ambridge to long drives spent listening to War & Peace.
It all began thirty years ago, with a humble pottery stall in Covent Garden. Emma had recently left university and it was a time when the potteries were at a low point, the formal dinner services they were still producing by now largely an anachronism. Dreaming of her own mother’s more vibrantly chaotic kitchen, she began to fill that gap, producing the kind of informal ceramic homeware that appealed to a new generation.
She has, in the process, helped to revive the once-flagging Staffordshire potteries, her company employing some 300 people who work from a reinvigorated Victorian factory, originally built for the Meakin Brothers, in Stoke-on-Trent. There, she ensures that skilled workers are supported and, indeed, that young people can join a training scheme to learn about manufacturing.
Her work is cheerful, classic and irreverent and, at its heart, is all about comfort and joy. Here, Emma takes us round her digital world, from her second home in Ambridge to long drives spent listening to War and Peace on audiobook.
My favourite website...Radio 4 Live. I’ve been a Radio 4 addict for decades and yes, I am one of those crazy Archers fan, Ambridge is my second home.
The app I use the most ...Instagram. I really appreciate this space and I find it a really interesting and stimulating community. Though I do wish there weren’t so many ads.
My blog/online magazine of choice...I rarely look at blogs, I love old fashioned print. I buy Private Eye for the jokes and Country Life for the property porn.
My Internet hero...My sister, Clover Stroud, whose posts are a whole world and I’m so excited about her new book coming out in February: ‘My Wild and Sleepless Nights’.
My favourite podcast… ...Podcasts can be such good company in the car. I love the intimacy and the one-to-one. I find it inspiring to hear how a business got started. and for that reason, I enjoy Conversations of Inspiration from Holly Tucker, who founded Not On The High Street, I actually recently recorded an episode with her, which came out on 4th November.
Book just downloaded ...War and Peace. It made particularly good listening whilst driving across the dramatic landscape of Wales last week.
Pet hate about life online ...The algorithm that makes it so hard to break out of a particular bubble. For me, it’s all about trying to get insight into different lives, different worlds. I wish they didn’t make that so hard.
My most recent buy online…I just replenished my supply of mascara. I use a special allergy-free kind called mosscara by Aveda, which is made with moss from Iceland.
Favourite Instagrammer…I love following @sarahravensgarden. She is an incredible gardener, businesswoman and an old friend. Her photographs are stunning and inspirational – she can make any garden, big or small, its very best.
Most worthwhile newsletter I subscribe to…I receive the email newsletter from the CPRE (Campaign To Protect Rural England) of which I am the current president. It’s a great way to see all the progress that is being made to preserve the countryside for future generations.
By Lydia Mansi