I've been making my lamps for fifteen years now. What a time it's been. My work has taken me on many adventures and I've met many amazing people. It has led me to open a shop, start a blog and write a book. The best thing of all though is that it allows my love of making things and my motivation to create more beauty in the world to be at the heart of everything I do. It allows getting out in the woods with my camera or marveling at a wild flower to become part of every day.
And I am lucky to have a brilliant team! My Dad works with me on a Thursday (Dad day) and I have the lovely Oonagh Staerck helping with production and the running of the studio. We often have student interns in to help too so they can discover what it's like to run a small design business. My daughter Ffion made this website for me using Shopify and my dear friend Sarah Mason, who also shares our studio space takes my photos.
I'm from Leeds originally but I found great inspiration in the countryside when I studied 'Crafts' at Carmarthen college in West Wales. I lived in Laugharne for many years, raising my two small children, sketching and drawing in the fields and woodland and gathering my ideas. When my children became of school age we moved back up North settling in Hebden Bridge.
I joined Northlight Studio, then situated at the top of an old textile mill with wide views across the valley and I found the support and inspiration to introduce my work to the wider world. I made a range of paper cut greetings cards which made it to Libertys, Harrods, Paperchase and many beautiful craft galleries across the country. Whilst holding my paper cuts up to the light to enjoy the silhouettes, the idea of making lamps seemed the next exciting step.
The Arts Council supported the idea with a Research and Development grant and months were spent cutting, sticking, thinking and sketching until the first Hannah Nunn lamp was born! I launched my collection at the British Craft Trade Fair in 2003 and my lamps were taken up by many lovely craft galleries, some of which still stock my work all these years later.
Being inspired and enthralled by other artists working with light is what led me to open my shop Radiance. For years I had my workshop in the back of the shop and being surrounded by beautiful hand made lighting by over 50 designer/makers made for an inspiring place to work, but after bursting at the seams both business needed to spread their wings so I moved into a new studio which gave me the space to expand and I created my range of wallpapers, fabrics and window films.
Whilst exhibiting at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair my passion for craft lighting was spotted by Alison Stace, an editor for Bloomsbury, who asked me if I'd like to write a book about it. As I love telling stories and championing all these amazing creative people, writing Illuminate was the perfect job for me!
Over the years with the help of some great press, loads of re-pins on Pinterest and my dear customers spreading the word I have sent my work all over the world. It's nice to think that there are wallpapered walls in as far flung places as Peru and lamps creating their cosy glow in living rooms in Nova Scotia!
There are big changes afoot. The lease on our shop premises was coming to an end and we made the tough decision to not renew it. Radiance has been a much loved beacon of light on Hebden Bridge’s Market Street since 2005 but in recent years it has been a struggle to keep it afloat. Rather than keep struggling we decided to call it a day and put our energies into all our other creative projects. We are sad to say goodbye but we are also excited about new beginnings!
There is so much to be excited about. I have just bought a new laser cutter and I am looking forward to lots of play and experimentation. I am always inspired by the natural world and will continue to introduce new designs to the collection.
It pleases me immensely when people enjoy my work and want to take it home with them. When they say that their lamp makes them happy every time they switch it on.
That's what it's all about really!
This business makes regular donations to The Woodland Trust, The Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust for their Hay Time meadow conservation project and to Tinderwood Trust, our local forest school. It feels give to give back to the things that inspire me the most.