Born in Leeds and moved back to West Yorkshire after many years studying and practising art in Wales, Hannah Nunn started designing lights 10 years ago. She opened her own shop in 2005 where a great range of light and other interior designs are available. Her work has also gained popularity internationally and is stocked by galleries in France, Canada and the USA.
SF: What do you make?
I make a range of paper cut lighting and my collection includes table lamps, wall lights, candle covers, floor lamps and fairy lights. They are all made from creamy coloured parchment paper with intricate nature inspired paper cut designs. They glow beautifully.
SF: Where do you make?
I make in my little workshop at the back of my shop in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. It’s has a wood burning stove, flag stone floors and big sash windows looking out onto an ivy clad yard. I papered the wall with my favourite wallpaper! I like it. It’s cosy! Sometimes it’s tricky making when the shop is busy but I do have a couple of days a week in there when the shop is shut so I can get my head down.
SF: Why do you make where you do & How long have you worked here?
I opened my shop Radiance (http://www.radiancelighting.co.uk/ ) 7 years ago now. Being a lighting designer I was always drawn to other designers working with light and thought it would be amazing to bring them altogether in one very glowing shop with my own workshop in the back! For the first 5 years I was in a shop at the quiet end of town. It had a teeny workshop though and as the business grew it began to burst at the seams! The new shop in the middle of town has much more room AND we now live upstairs too. I love having everything under one roof.
SF: What is very different and special in your studio compared with other studios of artists working in the same discipline?
I guess being surrounded by so much creative lighting made from so many different materials it pretty unique.
SF: What inspires you?
Nature never fails to inspire me. There is just so much. I love the tiny details. I love its simplicity and freshness. I like getting up close to the grasses in the meadow or the flowers in the hedgerows. I get very excited when we go out for our walks and always come back with ideas of how I can express this in my work.
SF: Where do you go for a break from the hard work as an artist?
Our town is surrounded by woodland and whichever direction you go there is a really stunning walk. Me and my friend go for an early morning walk in the woods before work a couple of times a week and have a tea break somewhere along the way (often sitting in our waterporoofs on a wet, mossy rock somewhere, sipping tea). It works wonders!
If I had three months to spare I’d be back to Japan in a flash. I went there in May this year and it was like being immersed in a warm bath of inspiration. I found so much beauty and grace and fine craftsmanship.
We soaked it all up. I blogged about it a lot. There was so much to share (http://www.hannahnunn.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Japan )
SF: What is on the horizon for you locally?
Well it’s nice that the last show is done (just exhibited at GNCCF) and now I can bed down in the shop and the studio and enjoy the busy season. This is the time of year for us light makers you know. When the clocks go back things really kick into action! I like to think I’m providing a service which brings light and cosiness to the dark winter months!
I’ll also be having a sparkly book launch in the shop soon because my book ‘Illuminate’ (http://www.hannahnunn.co.uk/info/book.html ) has just been published. Illuminate is about contemporary craft lighting and it tells the stories of how 40 global makers came to be using light to bring their craft to life. It’s very exciting to have a book. I need to celebrate!
I am working on getting my lamps into Japan. Since blogging about Japan a lot I have even found some lovely Japanese people who would like to help me! I’m working with UK Trade and Investment who are doing some research for me in Japan. I also have dreams of taking my lamps to the New York International Gift Fair. Maybe next year!
SF: What advice would you give to an up-and-coming artist?
Do what you enjoy the most and do it your own sweet way because that’s what will get you to the right places. You might have to work very hard but that’s ok when you’re doing what you love!
SF: What’s currently playing on your studio ipod / cd player / tape deck / record player?
Nothing right now to be honest but if there was it might be Peter Broderick as I’m enjoying him a lot at the moment.
SF: Tell us something not many people know about you.
Well seeing as this is Scottish website I’ll tell you that I used to do Scottish dancing at school (in Yorkshire). We once came second in the national awards in Edinburgh. I used to do a mean sword dance!
Images (c) Hannah Nunn.