Furniture designer Cameron Helvey cites Japanese design as an influence on his aesthetic. And, in fact, with the simplicty and minimalism of his designs, it's easy to see that influence in his collection. The San Diego native sat down with us to discuss his designs and influences in our latest Meet the Maker post.
Where did you grow up? I was born in Orange County and stayed through middle school. I moved up to Ventura for High school and then moved to San Diego for college where I still live today.
Where did you study/train? I fell in love with San Diego when I moved here for school and can't imagine living anywhere else. San Diego State University has an excellent furniture design program and I was fortunate enough to study here. The program teaches traditional woodworking and craft while pushing experimental techniques and materials. I began working with a local designer primarily in metals making furniture. When I moved to Japan I regained my appreciation for traditional woodworking. With the minimalist aesthetics and the simplistic ideals of Japanese design, I found my balance and incorporated it into my designs.
What was the first thing you made and sold? I had been woodworking since the sixth grade but, didn't make anything very memorable until I spent a lot of time making my Mom a jewelry box freshman year of High school. It was white oak with walnut details, legs and sliding trays inside. She still brags about it and shows it off to this day.
Where do you find inspiration? I find inspiration in everyday objects, functional goods. Items we interact with daily provide influence in the way things function, feel and affect our lives.
What’s your advice for a designer/maker just starting out? You learn through mistakes, you will never learn unless you try. Get out and make something and no matter how well it turns out you will learn something to apply to your next project.
To see more of Cameron's work, check out his website: Helvey Design Studio.
And be sure to check out Cameron's Kickstarter page to help his new designs come to life.
(Images: Helvey Design Studio)