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Five Minutes with a Young Furniture Maker: Ella Merriman


Ella Merriman, a Furniture and Product Design student at London Metropolitan University /The CASS, talks about exhibiting at the Young Furniture Makers exhibition and how membership to the Young Furniture Makers has benefitted her.

What made you want to pursue a career in design?

I have always been creative and studied Furniture and Product Design and found my niche. I love the scope that design gives you to create and help make people’s lives more functional and joyful. I think I was always meant to be a designer.

When did you decide you wanted to work in design?

Around six months into my first year of studying Furniture Design.

How did you find out about the Young Furniture Makers?

I found out about Young Furniture Makers through my tutor, who encouraged us all to become members. I also saw students in the years above me exhibit at the Young Furniture Makers exhibition and was impressed by the quality of work displayed and professional atmosphere of the exhibition.

How did you get involved in the Young Furniture Makers?

I applied to exhibit at the Young Furniture Makers exhibition for 2018 and was shortlisted in the Design category. The exhibition was such a great opportunity to meet other young makers and designers from across the UK and receive feedback on my work. It was an invaluable experience.

How has being part of the Young Furniture Makers benefitted you?

Exhibiting was a rewarding experience and one that I will always remember. To exhibit my work in such a beautiful setting among so many talented young creatives was an honour.

Tell me about your piece that was featured in the Young Furniture Makers exhibition.

The inspiration for Dog-Eared came from an old book with curled dog-eared corners. The form that the corners held intrigued me and I began trying to translate this shape into a solid form. The Dog-Eared shelf can be used in many contexts: to hang items such as coats and bags on the curled hook while also holding smaller items on the flat shelf surface.

Would you recommend the Young Furniture Makers to others?

Yes I would. Through The Furniture Makers’ Company students can get support, contacts and bursaries and the Young Furniture Makers exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to network. It is so rare to be granted such a beautiful exhibition space in London free of charge and I think that the experience gained from being a part of a professional exhibition is invaluable.

What is you ultimate career goal?

My ultimate career goal is to have my own successful design studio, manufacturing metal homeware products to sell worldwide. To have my work stocked in SCP would be a dream.  I would also like to work with as many international designers as possible and collaborate on a broad range of design projects learning about as many materials and making processes as possible.

For more information about Ella Merriman, go to www.ellamerrimandesign.com.

If you’re a student or recent graduate and would like to join the Young Furniture Makers, go to www.furnituremakers.org.uk/join-the-yfm/