Here we showcase the work of designer Joseph Hartley, who has just completed his course at Manchester Metropolitan University in Three Dimensional Design.
“I design and hand make thoroughly usable objects from the simplest materials, using simple techniques. The results are objects that are pure and honest which feature virtually no decoration or surface treatment. My products are hard wearing, playful and are intended to be used a lot and enjoyed a lot.
My current work is a response to my ever growing interest in the similarities between design and food. I believe materials and ingredients are not so different, and an appropriate way to explore this notion was to make the most simplest and ancient of foods. I hand make naturally leavened bread with just flour, water and salt, and my collection of objects, intended to aid the making of bread, are hand made from similarly simple materials; wood, clay and cloth. During this project I became rather taken with the phrase ‘wait until doubled in size’, which appears in every bread recipe I’ve ever read – so many of my objects double up in some way, the apron folds into a canvas sack to store the bread, so one object can assist the full cycle of making, storing, eating then making again. I have loved every second of learning the skills needed to put this collection together, especially learning about and making bread. I thrive on making, and I think my work reflects that.
My current collection contains 3 materials and many processes, all of them entirely appropriate for the jobs and pallet I required. The work contains simple materials put together and worked with simple techniques, this is intended to mirror the simple food that inspired the objects. Subtle proportions and the marriage of materials are at the heart of the work.”
“The most important thing for me to do at the moment is to establish a decent workshop in Manchester where I can design and manufacture my objects. I am also as passionate about teaching as I am about making and often run workshops in conjunction with the university, this is something I intend to push forward with in the future.”