Samantha Derbyshire

Samantha Derbyshire

Samantha Derbyshire

Small Batch Ceramic Candles





Hello, my name is Samantha. I am a potter and small batch candle maker and the artist behind Emerald Koru Studio.

For a few years I had a desire to learn pottery but as a full time, multi-day raft guide I didn’t have the time to pursue it. However, in the spring of 2018 I decided I would wait no longer. I marched into Desert Sun Ceramics and asked “How do I get started?” Barb, the owner at the time, said “I am sitting down with a girl in a half hour if you want to join”. I did and I fell in love. After that I went to the studio every chance I got in order to keep practicing. I do not have any formal education in ceramics, I am very much self taught, seeking out the knowledge to execute my visions and learning as I go.

With a degree in Botany it is safe to say I love plants so, being able to create beautiful homes for plants has been a lot of fun. I play around with new design ideas for my planters then recreate the ones I like best. My favorite clay to work with is speckled, I really like the texture and look of the naked clay body with white glaze. You will find much of my work integrates the naked clay into a two-tone design. This can also be seen in my confluence bowl inspired by my years spent in Cataract Canyon and my full moon howling coyote pendant lamp.

I also love color, my candles are a way for me to play around with glazes. The candle is a simple form of about 8 oz into which I hand pour candles. The candles are 100 % soy wax made in a variety of fragrance blends that I have created. It’s been a lot of fun to mix fragrances and develop my own line of fragrances. My favorite is Jah Morning, a blend of Blood Orange and Sea Salt Orchid, named after my favorite radio show on KZMU. After the candle has burnt you can reuse the vessel as a tea cup or your favorite whiskey sipper.

I am still pretty new to this art form, and creating art in general. Until recently I’ve never thought of myself as an artist, an identity I am growing into and It’s been a lot of fun discovering and developing my style. With so many ideas running around in my head I’m excited to see what else I will create. When not playing with clay I enjoy running rivers, mountain biking and volunteering on KZMU as a Moab Mama’s DJ.

At the end of 2019 I decided I was going to start selling my work then the pandemic hit a few months later and the studio was on the brink of closing but thankfully Liz Ford swooped in to keep it going. It has been a wonderful community space to create and learn in. I will be building a sweat- equity home this year so my pottery output will likely slow as I will be building my house with my own two hands. It is my hope that next year I will be participating in the studio tour from the studio I plan to create in my house. Until then I will see you at Desert Sun Ceramics for this year’s tour.

Samantha Derbyshire/Emerald Koru Studio Information


Desert Sun Ceramics

1320 S Highway 191

Please Note:
The 2022 Studio Tour is postponed until 2023.