Hayden Youlley

I design and produce handmade, functional homewares in my studio in Marrickville, Sydney. I have been working full time on Hayden Youlley Design for almost 7 years. Before that, it was a part time passion project that I started while I was completing a Bachelor of Design at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales. Once I had graduated, I started out with a small weekly market stall and established a small shared ceramic studio. Making the jump to being a full time ceramicist wasn’t easy, but with a lot of hard work, trial and error, and support from friends and family, I now have an established business with stockists Australia-wide.

I studied a Bachelor of Design at COFA which gave me the opportunity to experiment with various design disciplines and introduced me to ceramics. Things really clicked for me as a designer when I found ceramics in second year because I felt like I’d found a medium that gave me the freedom to create in the moment and the ability to explore whole ideas from start to finish. The endless possibilities malleable clay offered to explore my ideas about of surface, scale and volume really sparked my interest. Once I started working with clay, I realised that it appealed not only to my fascination with materials and process but also to my sense of independence as a designer. It’s the only medium I have worked with that I can use to make a product by doing each step in the process myself – from designing and prototyping to realising and manufacturing. For me, the process of designing, prototyping and producing ceramics, both sculptural and functional, involves the right mix of instant satisfaction, challenge, surprise, problem solving and beauty to keep me interested in exploring all its possibilities. That’s the fanciest way I have found to say that it is a really fun and rewarding way to get your hands dirty and throw mud around all day.