MNO Clay by Darren Emenau

Darren Emenau of MNO clayDarren Emenau’s creations have emerged through unharnessed and playful explorations of ceramic forms and materials for over 20 years. The elegance of his work seems effortless and disguises the technical skill required for creating such elemental, whimsical forms.

With a dedication to exploration and experimentation, he has been awarded with consistent recognition for his art practice and professional achievements, with numerous international awards, grants, publications and exhibitions.
In recent years, Emenau has had a solo exhibition at the University of Maine Museum of Art in Bangor, Maine, USA, a solo exhibition at the Saskatchewan Craft Council, Saskatoon, SK, Canada, and at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, NB. His most recent exhibition was at Jones Gallery in his home city of Saint John, NB, Canada.


“Since the days of childhood, I have been engrossed with New Brunswick’s rugged coastline and serine rolling hill interiors. The foggy lichen frosted forests, moss covered rocks, and jagged cliffs harness the inspiration for my work.

With a trained eye for traditional vessel forms, I am attracted to the Zen Buddhist philosophy of wabi-sabi, which sees beauty in imperfection. I like things that are unique, authentic and irregular. I love tinkering with familiar shapes and reconfiguring them into contemporary forms. Fascinated by how we relate to the outer surface of a vessel, yet drawn into the interior, my work has also expanded to abstract forms, which imbue nature’s essence, with little reference to known vessels.

The surfaces come to life through my constant development and exploration of the glaze surfaces. With no standards to saturation and hues, the textured surfaces bring to mind lichen, bark or the parched, cracked earth. Each work may have their surfaces added to or partially removed until I am satisfied and intrigued by the delicate surfaces of unpredictability that occurs.”

Darren Emenau, MNO Clay