Emma was born and raised on the ridge top above the community of Point Arena. She grew up barefoot and tangle haired spending every possible moment exploring the wilds of beach, river and woods. Art projects were dragged outside and Emma used the natural world as her muse; this remains the trend of her adult life.
Bridging career work as a fisheries biologist and an environmental educator with the ocean-centric lifestyle of surfing, Emma created a line of ocean art apparel: NorthCoast Brine. Beginning with her original pen and ink drawings, images are screen printed by a friend onto her carefully selected garment line.
Inspired by the life and environment of the cold brine waters off of Northern California, her goal with the line is to encourage stewardship and provide advice on sustainable seafood. “Many of the species I depict have a long history as human food. Most of us are now removed from the process of catching our seafood and only know halibut, ling cod, or rock fish as square fillets; my wearable art work puts an image to these common food species that are beautiful amazing animals in their own right.” BRINE \ˈbrīn\ water saturated or impregnated with salt; the water of the sea.
Emma applies her ocean inspiration to the art of functional pottery. Wheel-thrown pieces are richly decorated with waves, fish, and kelp. A fellow surfer and potter, Bo Kvenild, employed Emma to help glaze his large ceramic sculptures in his home studio where she caught the clay bug. Her partial self-teaching has been supplemented by family friend, fellow local artist, Miriam Owen. Miriam, a potter for over 35 years, has passed her potter’s wheel, a kiln and some coaching on to Emma.
Emma’s newest art endeavor is her slow apprenticeship with her craftsman lamp maker father, Ed Hurley.