Interview with Ema Mamisu

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video available here.

Camille : Can you please present yourself ?

Bára (Ema Mamisu) : I am from Prague, I founded this company in 2013, alone. After one year Petra Maskova joined me. She is right now on maternity leave. So I’m alone in the business for now. Sometimes some assistants come help me, when needed.

Camille : What is the meaning of your brand ?

Bára (Ema Mamisu) : We want to make beautiful and useful products. The most important thing is « good functioning » and « good to use ». Things need to be solid in order to last long, at the same time they are unique and interesting, so when people hold them in their hands their heart is pounding with joy, when using it.

Camille : What are your main values at Ema Mamisu ?

Bára (Ema Mamisu) : At first place, it’s the function of the product. When I create something it must be functional to the maximum. Sometimes I add an esthetic value but it’s really important to be mainly functional.

Camille : Do you have rituals during the process of creation ?

Bára (Ema Mamisu) : First I need to clean my working area before I start to work. I like it when it’s clean and I like to listen to audiobook during the process of creation. I play audiobook and I began. Which genre ? Like detective most of the time. Sometimes when I’m listening to them the dark atmosphere of the genre is taking place around me. I compensate it, with colours of dots, and other tenderness. I remember one moment, I was listening to a dark and uncomfortable book while painting small little dots on the cups. Which were also very small. They were very cute afterwards ! It was the biggest contrast in what was going on. I like to listen to Maigret. I know him a lot. So only from time to time. Plus, I like new detective stories coming out, mainly Scandinavian. Yes also Jo Nesbo but not as much !

Camille : Where do you find your inspiration ?

Bára (Ema Mamisu) : Definitely not from detective audiobooks. Much more from everything around me. When I see some interesting things, even from another specialization. I’m going through different magazines, about Home or Design. There I collect inspiration in shapes and decoration. Sometimes in the nature as well but nature is not good inspiration for practical products. But when I create things, in oven working with wood, yes. I remember once I wanted to create a vase that look like a wasp nest. Colours, structure and shape included. I haven’t been able to realise it yet !

Camille : When did you started Ema Mamisu ?

Bára (Ema Mamisu) : It was around 2012. My job at the time didn’t worked well for me. Intern relationships included and the impulse was that I was fired… So I realized now it’s time to start and stop finding excuses, on why I can’t.

Camille : What is the authenticity of your products ?

Bára (Ema Mamisu) : Our authenticity is in the preparation of our materials. We make it ourselves. Not that we mix the glaze as someone else, but we mix it on our own way and from there we mix everything we need plus we are mixing other things than just glaze ! That’s what I think is making us unique. In ceramic there is infinite spectrum of colours that you can make, depending on which glaze you may use. Each glaze look different on various materials. So it’s in combining glaze with materials it can make you special because nobody else knows the ingredients. We can keep our originality. Plus, we are doing the procedures. Unless you put it into the mold you can’t copy it. Huge big part of the products is handmade work. For example, the finger-pressed bowl, which I offer on Solybox (here)… this bowl I press it with my fingers which is my specific shape. Since everybody has a different shape. Finger pressing by another person look different. Then there is quite a long process of creation. And it’s not easy to discover how to make it…

Camille : What is your favorite part of the creation process ?

Bára (Ema Mamisu) : Definitely inventing the product in my head when I got the idea and I’m thinking on how to compile it. Then, I love the part when I shape it on the wheel that’s quick procedure, nothing that much creative. But then comes the second stage when the product becomes dry and I need to finalize it adding details and finalize the shape ! That’s the moment when I’m finally creating. Of course, when I’m opening the oven and it’s done perfectly, I see the final result. That’s the cherry on top of the cake.

Camille : Do you have favorite artists ?

Bára (Ema Mamisu) : form international artist Lucie Rie that dedicated her life to ceramic from her youth ’till her death with a very interesting style and from Czech artist which I know, Martin Hanus who’s autodidact, he works in South Bohemia. He uses wood-fired oven. His attitude to life and ceramic is very sympathic. So everytime when I’m talking to him, he’s very inspirational. I think many products we create, exist thanks to him because I was at his workshop. plus Martin Hadrava who works with him. He is a source of technology somehow. 

Camille : How was the beginnings ?

Bára (Ema Mamisu) : At the beginning I was working from home. I was going to workshop to « burn » the products. But you can’t do it for a long period of time because ceramic creates a lot of dust and dirt so we were looking for a place. We set up a budget and we wanted some size and my demand was to have the place in Létna because I live here. So I have it close to work. We were searching for something and we found with this amazing big window. It was clear since we wanted a shop in here.

The Boutique Solybox with all Ema Mamisu creations, is here.

One of her latest creation : Ceramic plate, blue is the new black

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