Hayden Youlley studied a Bachelor of Design at COFA which gave him the opportunity to experiment with various design disciplines and introduced him to ceramics. Things really clicked for Hayden as a designer when he found ceramics in second year because he felt like he’d found a medium that gave him the freedom to create in the moment and the ability to explore whole ideas from start to finish. The endless possibilities malleable clay offered to explore his ideas about of surface, scale and volume really sparked his interest. Once he started working with clay, he realised that it appealed not only to his fascination with materials and process but also to his sense of independence as a designer. It’s the only medium he has worked with that he can use to make a product by doing each step in the process himself - from designing and prototyping to realising and manufacturing. For Hayden, the process of designing, prototyping and producing ceramics, both sculptural and functional, involves the right mix of instant satisfaction, challenge, surprise, problem solving and beauty to keep me interested in exploring all its possibilities. That’s the fanciest way he has found to say that it is a really fun and rewarding way to get your hands dirty and throw mud around all day.