Partners Thea Augustina Eck and Matthew Shlian met at Alfred University's ceramic studio more than a decade ago. The Eight Emperors collaboration grew from their collection of unique handheld objects, either created by artist friends or found during their adventures. Thea and Matthew believe these pieces have a way of existing in not only the hand but also in the mind.
Made from simple materials, the Eight Emperors collection is not categorized as traditional Craft. Matthew does not do origami and Thea is not a woodworker. Their work stems from the world of contemporary Art and Design. All items are handmade in Ann Arbor, Michigan from archival paper and glues and locally sourced Michigan wood. Eight Emperors showcases the things they love to make: Objects that instill a sense of wonder. Objects that commemorate, celebrate and honor, the way an heirloom object is gifted with love.
Our small home is filled with many handmade objects and drawings created by friends, young and old, toys for our cat Lily, and lots of plants that sometimes die. We feel fortunate to have our studio in which we can creatively play and encourage each other. We appreciate the many mentors, teachers and friends that guided us to our current lighthouse.
Matthew Shlian is an artist who loves paper, kittens and documentaries. He meditates on the repetition that his work asks of him yet sometimes suffers from muscle cramps. His work can be seen at www.mattshlian.com
Thea Augustina Eck
Thea Augustina Eck is an artist who grew up in a horticulture-obsessed family. She researches historical Arctic/Antarctic exploration narratives and archives, and enjoys random conversations concerning them. Her work can be seen at www.theaeck.com