We’ve said a lot that the Coronavirus pandemic has seen a surge in people using Jesmonite, trying it for the first time or setting up their own business with products made from it, and Richard Youel is a great example of that. Lockdown gave Richard the push to set up design and model making company Studio Youel in October 2020 and he has huge plans for the company - with extensive use of Jesmonite. He was introduced to Jesmonite during his masters degree at Edinburgh College of Art in 2013 and experience in the product since then means he knows just what to do with Jesmonite.
“I am happy and excited to be starting out on my own,” he said.
“You’ve just got to do it, the unknown can be scary but it is really fun and something different could come along each day.
“Jesmonite is really easy to use, nontoxic, you don’t need any serious machinery to make it and you can do smaller scale and larger scale projects without trouble.
“The range of colours and finishes makes it stand out from other products.
“It is often compared to plaster or concrete, but it is just better than both. It is neat and tidy, which you can’t get with concrete, and it has a materiality you can’t get with plaster.”
In Scotland Richard worked in a cast iron foundry before moving to London and spending six years as a model maker for David Chipperfield Architects. He suggested the use of Jesmonite for projects at the architects and had time to experiment himself. He made presentation models showing the more abstract and materiality of projects, exploring the versatile finishes with colour and stone.
“I believe model making should not only be used to accurately depict a building but to also represent the inspiration and feeling of the design,” he said.
“Whether that is through materiality or a specific idea which is driving the design.”
Studio Youel has already been working on model making commissions for architects and fitting out a cafe, but Richard also plans on selling products using Jesmonite - tying in his background with his new career.
“I know I can make good products that people will want to buy too,” he added.
“I will take the skills I have learnt through model making and apply them into making furniture and other products.”
Based in Haggerston, north London, his workshop is set to become a hub of activity in the months to come so be sure to watch out for new products being released. To find out more about Studio Youel visit www.instagram.com/studioyouel/.