Graduating with a BA(Hons) in Embroidery isn’t the usual route into a career in lighting design but with a desire to see the effect of light on materials and childish fear of the dark Claire stumbled into the world of lighting design with her serendipitous Eight-Fifty light made from cable ties.
Claire’s design process is more related to that of a designer-maker. The personal inspiration behind her forms comes largely from the natural world, whether that be sea anemones, plant stems or the super-scaling of nature to contain light. Her inspiration is then translated into the appropriate medium, whether that be paper, boroscilicate glass or stainless steel.
Between 2001-2004 Claire undertook an artist in residency position at Object in Sydney, Australia and exhibited both nationally and internationally, as well as lecturing part-time at UCLan. She also curated and project managed two exhibitions in the north west, Pay and Display, supported by the Design Initiative and Inner City Living, supported by Preston City Council, a design showcase for England’s newest city, Preston, where she now lives.
Claire continued to develop her work with Habitat and in 2004 she was appointed as the in-house lighting designer, a position she held for three years. Her work developed a commercial edge and encompassed the whole collection, covering a wide range of materials and lighting technologies.
In 2009 Claire was selected for the highly prestigious Jerwood Contemporary Makers Exhibition. Claire returned to working in paper, a material she has a great affinity with, to produce Bloom 296, a highly crafted and multi-layered piece made solely from paper.
Since moving back to the north west, Claire has worked in various different roles; designing a number of small capsule collections for commercial suppliers, as an Associate Lecturer on the 3D Design BA(Hons) at Manchester Metropolitan University, and working with Lancaster City Council to propose a feasibility for Illumination: a contemporary lighting festival for Morecambe.