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Founders Jules and Josh caught up with an impressive artist Lauren Lea Haynes. Lauren is a sculptor and designer based in Melbourne. She specialises in creating bespoke projects for clients throughout Australia, using an eclectic range of materials and mediums.

Lauren, tell us a little bit about you and your passions in life.

I am a designer, maker and homebody. My main workspace is a studio workshop, which I am lucky to call my office for now. It's a collaborative space shared with two other designers in Fairfield, VIC.

My passion for design spans various forms, and I like to  explore diverse mediums and aspects of the industry to help my curiosity. Marty, my husband, makes music and wine! Our household is lively with a couple of Kelpies and a cat. Much of our spare time is dedicated to gardening and backyard projects and working on our wine business together. 

Which is your favourite parfum from the Mihan Aromatics’ collection and why?

I love the Kirra Curl. It reminds me of the beach and summer time! 

Can you recall a specific scent memory that stands out to you?

Every time I smell sunscreen I am taken back to my childhood spent at the beach. It makes me think of surfing classes at 4am in the morning and long days laying on the sand. 

How did you first become interested in sculpting?

During my time exploring the Furniture Design course at RMIT, I noticed a trend in my designs and ideas—they were all evolving into organic and sculptural forms. So I went in this direction, making it a focus. I realised that it embodied the ideal blend of careful planning and impulse.

I was focused on making furniture not only as functional pieces but as works of art. To achieve this balance between aesthetics and utility, I turned to sculpting stone. It became the medium through which I wanted to harmonise my ideas and impulses of art with the practicality of everyday objects.

What's your creative process like, from concept to finished piece?

I currently work with a few different approaches, but the one that sees the most action at the moment, especially with my limestone pieces, starts off with rough sketching on a notepad. From there, I look for a common thread within the sketches and let a narrative emerge. It might not make immediate sense, but I have to trust that it will come together in time. 

Once I've got these concepts on paper, I transfer them directly onto the stone block I plan to work with. Then, it's all about using my tools to carve out the shapes I envisioned. Typically, it starts with a basic profile, and the final form takes shape through improvisation. Not everything can be mapped out in a drawing, but it can be sensed and visualised in my mind whilst working. This part, where the tangible creation aligns with the vision, is where the fun is for me.

How important is storytelling in your sculptures? Do you aim to convey specific narratives or emotions?

Creating narratives within my work is a skill I'm continuously working on. I currently like to tell stories through motifs and objects that hold significance for me—whether present in my surroundings or pulled from my memories.

This holds particular importance for me, serving as a therapeutic outlet. I think that every artistic medium lends itself to the cathartic nature of storytelling, and I believe it's an essential part of us to be able to express ourselves. For me, the ability to work on impulse and expression during the initial stages of designing or sculpting forms is very special.

Reflecting on your artistic career, has scent ever influenced or inspired a sculpture? If so can you recall what scent evoked this creation.

Lavender was everywhere in the neighbourhood when I fabricated my first design post-university. It was also the fragrance of a deodorant I wore at the time and happened to be my close friend's favourite flower, they were no longer with us so I wanted to make something in memory of them. The design took the shape of a powder-coated aluminium stool which was initially designed for a florist, formed with the gentle curves of a petal. To pay homage to both the flower and its scent, and of course my friend, I chose a Lilac hue, the closest colour resembling Lavender that I could find. So I suppose the motif and representation of the flower itself is a close similarity to a scent driving the creative process! 

Thanks to Lara Cooper @hello_cooper & Vege Threads @vegethreads for pics of Lauren in her studio xx


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