WENDY WARD LIGHTING
Wendy Ward Lighting was born from a fascination of the translucency of porcelain and its interaction with light. Having graduated in Contemporary Applied Art ceramics at Ulster University Belfast, Wendy went on to complete an MFA in Multidisciplinary Design. It was during this time she saw a fascination between the interaction of porcelain and light and this is where her journey began. Over the last 4 years she has spent time working with a number of ceramic and lighting companies refining her craft including internationally acclaimed Belleek Pottery and the International Ceramic Research centre in Denmark. Having almost completed the Craft Northern Ireland 'Making It’ programme- a two year business start up programme it has been such an exciting journey watching her business grow from strength to strength.
We caught up with Wendy to find out more about her business.
What is the importance of craftsmanship in design?
I believe craftsmanship is the essence of great design. With great craftsmanship the design exhibits quality, passion and attention to detail telling the individual story of the maker and the hand. Through my practice I strive to create functional, desirable products that are lifestyle orientated- the ability to create beautiful objects, each bespoke and timeless are a result of craftsmanship and skill which has been built up over time. Our products are all hand crafted therefore each one is unique. The porcelain naturally diffuses the light therefore the design will not only bring character but a soft warm ambience to an interior. Craftsmanship is also key in enabling customisation options for clients to suit their brief and budget.
Having spent the last two years as designer in residence at Belleek Pottery refining my craft I was delighted to be awarded an international award for exceptional ability to combine the qualities of handcraft into an industrial production process.
How do you showcase your making process?
When someone buys your craft or design they are not just buying the object but the story, passion and skill that defines it.
An online blog and social media channels including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, enable me to showcase my practice, process and story of how a design evolves from concept to finished piece.
Having recently attended Ambiente, Frankfurt, international trade shows enable me to network with clients, designers and companies and build my brand.
Applying for international competitions and exhibitions has also given me opportunities to showcase and exhibit my designs and process. My work will be part of the travelling exhibition 'Shaping the Future' this year, run by Ceramics and it Dimensions. The exhibition will tour in six European cities, Selb, Belfast, Stoke-on-Trent, Berlin and Ljubljana and finally reach Prague in late 2018.
In which direction do you see your design business developing?
It has been an exciting and rewarding journey so far and I look forward to what the future holds for the business. Having launched the Wendy Ward Collection at Belleek Living , earlier this year, I will continue to work with Belleek to extend the range over the next few years. In a few months time I will also be travelling back to Germany to work with Meissen, a world renowned porcelain company on a special design project with the 5 other 2017 European Ceramic Ambassadors. In a year from now I would love to work with interior designers and architects on bespoke lighting installation for hotels, restaurants and luxury homes. My ambition is to build an international lighting brand and therefore I wish to exhibit and build partnerships within the major design centres - London, Paris, Milan and New York.