Maker Project - Thinking through practice

  Research Assistant / Maker

Ava Vaughan

Product Designer Maker

“Each piece
seemed to have a
huge focus around
interactivity and
how these pieces
would benefit the
users daily lives.”

Initially studying the Extended Diploma in Art and Design at Hereford College of Art, before going on to graduate in 3D Design and Craft at Brighton University, where I gained a first class Honours. My artistic direction over the years has focused on producing functional pieces, which involve ceramics, metal, heavy metal, digital, polymers and wood.

Towards the end of my study I found a passion and flare in woodwork and the transitions of 3D renders and technology which then changed into functional pieces of furniture. Each piece seemed to have a huge focus around interactivity and how these pieces would benefit the users daily lives. My final pieces focused around three significant areas community, domestic and commercial all being summarised from this quote where Annie Warburton writes;

‘At one level our lives are increasingly virtual. The return to making and working with our hands is in part a reaction to that. There’s also an increased awareness of provenance. People are aware of the ethics of where things come from and how they are produced. Then there is the sense of well-being that comes with making things yourself’.

This has been a theme and influence which I have tried to carry forward throughout my work as it demonstrates the importance of creating functional items to fulfil our participation as facilitators to positively impact on our own health and well-being, as well as the consideration of how my designs can contribute to the industry.

I was awarded the ‘Anna-Maria Desogus Memorial Award’ and exhibited at New Designers, The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair and was shortlisted for ‘Craeftiga’, Hole and Corner.

Recently I have been involved with ‘This Girl Makes’, which celebrates women in craft and design. This has enthused me and helped build my confidence to pursue finding the space and machinery to build a workshop at my home on the Welsh English border in area of outstanding beauty. Where I have started to take on commissions as well as designing, making and selling items in an outlet at a near by tourist attraction.

I am inspired by simplicity and clean lines mainly in the use of Ash as well as experimenting with other materials to enhance the originality and personality of wood.

Also, I have recently been involved in a community recycling charity project where I produce and help other people to make and encourage up-cycling and re-purposing damaged products.

My future ambition would be to further my experience in the industry and I hope to invest in further machinery and equipment to produce high level designs at a competitive price.

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