Maker Interview: Hana Hybs

I was instantly drawn to Hana's work when I discovered her beautiful hand thrown porcelain Scribble and Stripe pots - each one has a totally unique pattern drawn on with a permanent glaze pencil. She has recently launched a new range of coloured porcelain tableware which will be available on the site soon…

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Who are you?
I’m Hana, an Aussie, a long time Londoner, a newby Bristolian, a lover of cooking and good food, music, the outdoors, knitwear and chocolate… in no particular order.
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What do you Make/Do?
I’m a designer and maker working in porcelain and stoneware – I make ceramics.

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Do you have a background in craft and design - when did you first start making?
I do. I studied both Design (Visual Communication) and Architecture and have worked designing websites and digital products for many years. I think I’ve always been a maker –
 making is part of my making – and I’m always designing and creating things. I had my first try at making ceramics about three and a half years ago (I’m not counting the wobbly coil pots made in primary school) and it was love at first throw. I find that there’s something so elemental and satisfying working with clay. And making an object with my hands, in the ‘real world’ rewards me in ways that I missed designing purely on screen.
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Can you describe your typical making process?
Hmmm… not sure I have a typical process, but here goes...
 
Everything starts as a fragment of an idea. I’m constantly designing things in my head and they usually live there, brewing, for for quite a while. Then at some point they'll come out of my head as scribbled drawings on random scraps of paper – magazines, envelopes, anything within my reach – and I iterate through different variations, problem solving ideas that I can’t quite work out in my head. This usually repeats a few times until I have a more solid vision of what I want to make. There’s not really any structure to it, and I don’t usually dedicate time to is as it's always going on in the background. Once I’ve formed a clearer view of a design, I make physical prototypes and refine through making. (With my mugs, I tried quite a few different handle shapes before settling on the one that I use now.) 
 
The specific process of making the final pieces depends on the technique required to achieve my design – either wheel thrown or slip cast. Once I get to the production stage, the process becomes quite structured for me. I like efficiency. I usually do similar tasks together. If I’m throwing I’ll wedge all the clay I’ll need, weigh it out, throw everything, then trim. Or with slip casting I’ll do all the mould making, then I cast and trim in batches. I usually have days dedicated to glazing as well.
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What do you enjoy most about the process?
It’s hard to choose – the different parts each have their own rewards – but one thing I particularly love doing is trimming thrown pieces. It’s the part when the form is truly revealed and it's very mindful and calm.
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Can you describe your studio/workspace?
My studio is in the basement of my home and looks out onto the garden. 
Its quite bright, organised and calm. I’ve only recently moved into it so it still needs a bit of 'living in’ and there are things I still need to set up, but at the moment I have a work table in the centre of the room, a wheel next to the window, a small kiln, and lots of shelf space.
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What keeps you going whilst you work - soundtrack? Snacks? A fluffy sidekick?
Music, usually BBC 6music. Podcasts. Constant cups of tea – it's cold in my studio! The occasional biscuit and/or piece of chocolate (who am I kidding, I never eat just once piece!)
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What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?
I’ll be making more slip cast pieces imminently. I’ve designed a full tableware range that matches the mugs, cups and tumblers I make. There will also be some new colours to add to the collection. And I’ll also be making some one-off plates and platters using nerikomi technique. 
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Three things you can’t live without: 
Music. Meals shared with friends/family. Vitamin D supplements – I’d be a misery to be around if I didn’t take them in the winter! ;)
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Three favourite places:
Sydney, because its home. Byron Bay in Australia, its a magical place. Pembrokeshire in Wales, for its spectacular coastline. Asturias in Spain for its coast and mountains. Switzerland for its mountains. The Basque country for its food… and coast line. Actually, anywhere in the world with a good beach, a good mountain, and some good food is high up in my list of favourite places. (Sorry, that wasn’t three.)
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Three favourite foods:
Anything made with Aubergine. Cheese. Cinnamon – not exactly a meal on its own, but I love it as both a flavour and a scent.
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See Hana's beautiful Scribble, Stripe and Line pots in the Made+Good Ceramics sections here.
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Porcelain Planters