EMILIE, MALO ATELIER
Paris Belleville, France
A discerning esthetics, modelling diverse influences by hand.
Emilie is a born and bred Parisian. She trained as an architect and practised for 10 years, focusing on highly stylised and demanding social and community projects. She retrained as a ceramist and is now applying her sharp eye to her outstanding handiwork and creating stoneware tableware, with simple and contemporary lines inspired by rustic pottery tradition. Malo Atelier is her Parisian workshop, where the pieces are wheel-thrown in small series and the entire manufacturing process is entirely made by her hands. With Malo Atelier, Emilie is particularly creating bespoke tableware for confidential restaurants in Paris and beyond. I visited her in her studio Rue Rebeval, as dusk was falling over Paris.
Emilie, where have you lived ?
I grew up in the centre of Paris, but early on, I quickly felt constrained and limited by the city. It is not that Paris is claustrophobic, but rather that, as my place of birth, I felt I needed to leave Paris to experience freedom. I lived in Dublin in Ireland for a few months, and later studied and worked in Milan, Italy for two years.
And yet, you came back and settled in your Parisian hometown ?
I had to leave Milan to finalise my architecture graduate project. At the time, I had no doubt in my mind that I would leave again, for Italy or Asia. Yet, I quickly started working on big projects for local architecture agencies and ended up staying in Paris. In these ten years, I worked intensely and actually barely even took time off.
Travel remains absolutely central in my life, even if I actually did not get to travel much in these past few years. I had to learn to travel differently, in my own head and without leaving the city. You can find inspiration and adventure in many fields, cooking, ceramics, cinema, music ... I have also studied Japanese for 5 years.
What does travel, real or imaginary, mean for you ?
Travelling is much less about distance and much more about confronting yourself to a new interior landscape. In that sense, it is not about adventure and more about self-discovery and peeling daily habits to experience the world anew, modelling new ways of being, doing and thinking. My most memorable experiences have been Japan, and Mumbai in India, but also my beloved Porto in Portugal, where I plan to resettle in the next few months.
Who influenced you ?
Samuel Beckett, Alberto Giacometti, Marguerite Duras, Henri Ciriani, who was my mentor in Architecture school, Augusto Tozzola who taught me the potter's wheel.
Where next ?
I am hoping to spend a few weeks in Japan this year and I am preparing my move to Porto with much anticipation, even if I will never abandon Paris, a city I am deeply attached to. Why Porto? Because of its light, its typical architecture of houses with long and narrow gardens, its energy. Because it is so close to the ocean. And it will give me the opportunity to learn new things : Portuguese, surfing, new type of clays, and hopefully gas and wood kilns for ceramics, maybe basketry and much more!
Thank you Emilie for sharing you thoughts with us.
You can view and shop Malo Atelier here :