Anglo-Swedish Society Scholar 2017-2018

Helen Johannessen

Recently graduated from the Royal College of Art, London, with a masters in Ceramics & Glass. Going back into education took some courage at the stage I was at in my life. It re-introduced me to ways of reflecting on my ideas, contemporary approaches and rationale. That is why I chose to take two years away from my career a that time. It’s important to be uncertain and take risks, de-stabilise what you already know.
Prior to my MA, I set up and ran award winning company Yoyo Ceramics from 2000-2015; producing and selling my designs. All my ceramics for Yoyo tended to be homewares – functional, quirky and the overall aesthetic often required a ‘second glance’ to comprehend. The glazed ceramic surface either mimicked another material (intentionally) or used decoration that was a modern twist on classic design or something reminiscent.Stockists & galleries included (selection of) Liberty’s, Heals, Victoria& Albert Museum, The Design Museum, Skandium and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Following my BaHons degree in Ceramics & Jewellery from Middlesex University, London 1991-1995, I trained as a professional model and mould maker. Throughout my career, I have collaborated with well over 200 hundred artists, designers and makers, being commissioned to make their ideas or designs a reality. As a problem solver, these projects regularly fulfilled my character and drive; making/sculpting all the forms and tooling ready for production.

Starting in Jan/Feb 2018 I will be pursuing a scholarship awarded to me by the Anglo Swedish Society at Konstfack Art & Design School, Stockholm. This will be for 3 months until April/May 2018.

Lecture work & skills

Over two decades of experience in making, running my studio and business, I also integrated part time lecturing at Universities, colleges and schools (1999 onwards). Writing and delivering modules surrounding creativity and ways to implement ideas into reality led me to become a course leader at Regents University London.

I gain satisfaction sharing my expertise and thought process, it placates my appetite for the journey of creating, thinking and making.

I am currently involved with Make Your Future with the Crafts Council UK to take ceramic projects into schools during 2018. This will combine technology and making skills, exposing young adults to traditional hand making skills and contemporary thinking.

Helen Johannessen

Helen Johannessen

www.helenjohannessen.co.uk