A Deep Dive Into Harriet Caslin

This year we’re getting to know the people behind the brands, with a series of blogs introducing you to our 2019 exhibitors. We’ve asked some of the world’s most creative minds what inspires them the most, and what they brought to designjunction 2019.

In this post we speak to Harriet Caslin, who designs and makes porcelain lighting and tableware from her studio on Mersea Island off of the Essex coast.

What inspires your designs?

Did you ever use a spirograph when you were young? I did and I loved the simplicity of taking a line or a shape and repeating, rotating and aligning it to create these beautiful complex fluid linear patterns, it was such a satisfying process that you could get mesmerised in. As an adult my design process follows a similar style starting with a 2D linear pattern created by repeating, rotating and aligning a simple shape, to create complex, fluid designs. The design is then concertinaed out into 3D to create sculptural and tactile pieces for the home. Inspired by mid-century and Scandinavian aesthetics that I grew up with around me from my own family roots, I use soft colours and glazes to balance these complex designs.

What is your favourite product you showcased at designjunction and why?

It’s very hard to choose since I have a few different designs, but I have long been a fan of the “Knotted Large Bowl” It’s a real statement piece for the home and really shows that fluid, immersive design that I still love so much.

Describe your brand’s style in 3 words

Modern, nostalgic, unique.

Why did you exhibit at designjunction 2019?

For me designjuntion has long been my go to show in London Design week as a visitor because I always found it super inspiring, and the place that shows showcases both established brands and new designers. Over the years for various reasons I was unable to actually be on the other side actually showing my work but last year I could make it happen and it was my first time showing there. Being an independent designer / maker, “Canopy” is the perfect platform to showcase my work having that blend of a trade and retail space attracting a variety of visitors covering a wide spectrum in the design industry.

What did you show visitors at the show this year?

This is my second year showing at designjunction and this year I wanted to create a space that really shows my brand and illustrates the unique spirograph designs that are used to create my work. I have not seen anything similar since I started designing in this way 10 years ago, so my stand in Canopy was bold, whilst creating that home environment that my work is designed to be used in everyday.

This year I showcased my collection from last year of tableware including mugs, jugs and sculptural bowls and my vibrant collection of Birdcage shades. New to this year, I also brought a collection of table accessories such as my candle holders and tea lights.

What advice do you have for a designer just starting out?

The more you do it, the more you’re doing it! It sounds a bit stupid but it can be really hard to gain perspective on how far your brand has come when it feels like such a grind sometimes and you’re barely getting by, so just keep doing it! I always tell myself to think if the present me was to meet the me from 3 years ago and tell the past me all that she would achieve and do in the coming three years she wouldn’t believe it. It doesn’t just fall into your lap though, you have to keep grinding and be ready to grab opportunities when they present themselves.

Also if you’re a designer who makes their products like me, never think you’re being too pushy or over selling yourself online, the fact that you’re a maker means you’re a pretty modest person naturally and people are genuinely interested in what you do.

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