What Does This Girl Make? Meet Helena Haran

Where did you learn your craft?



I learnt how to design products at Falmouth University on their Sustainable Product Design course back in 2012. Then once I graduated I took an evening class in ceramics for a year at the local adults education college. It felt so great to be in the workshop making after three years of intensive design training!

How long have you been practicing?

I have been practicing in ceramics for the last 2-3 years. But I have been working with my husband, Joel, on the furniture side of our business for the past 5 years.

What is your favourite thing about being a designer-maker / craftsperson?

It’s amazing to start with a small idea, then sketch it down onto paper and then after about what feels like hundreds of prototypes, to finally have a crafted product that you are really proud of. I love the continuous development of products too, subtle changes that can make them even better.

What is your proudest achievement?

Probably winning the Etsy award for best makers in England back in 2016. Also getting featured in various magazines and newspapers such as Country Living and The Sunday Times.

What are the struggles you face in doing what you do? 



I struggle with letting a product go and actually releasing it in front of the public. We can all be very critical of our own work and I am definitely guilty of that. It’s also difficult to find a work-life balance when you are doing something that you love. It is easy to spend every minute of the day working on it. It was my new years resolution to have weekends off and we have really tried to stick to that which has been lovely.

What are your hopes/plans for the future? 



To release new furniture and lighting products and to get some bigger stockists across the UK selling our work.

We have a big ambition to run a creative design and craft studio that can be a place to employ people and teach them new skills. We’re hoping to take on some apprentices over the next few years, which is exciting!

How important do you think the craft and design industries are to the UK? And, how do you think we can best protect it?



We are used to everything being so instant these days, so I think it is really important for us all to remember where things come from and to value them. I am seeing it more and more how people want to have more of a connection with the things that they buy.

When we buy quality crafted products they will last and not just fall apart after a year, which actually works out more expensive in the long run. We can all do small things to help protect the craft and design industries by investing into well made pieces and finding out who our local designer makers are. It is so much more satisfying to know your money is going back directly into local businesses, helping your local economy, which in turn will open up opportunities for more jobs and training.

https://www.studioharan.co.uk/

 

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