Design Director Donna Gridley
on The Zoffany Collection
Launched at Decorex International 2015, ‘The Zoffany Collection’ features a selection of table and pendant lamps designed to directly complement Zoffany’s own beautiful range of luxury wall coverings, fabrics and accessories. In this interview, Heathfield & Co’s Design Director Donna Gridley discusses the range’s aesthetics, the factors that influenced the design process and the future developments for the collection.
What led to this new collection being developed in partnership with Zoffany?
We were approached by Zoffany’s then Creative Director, Victoria Blair, at 2013’s Decorex Exhibition to look at the possibility of a collaborative project. They thought a similar style of lighting would work effectively within their own ranges. I have also always loved Zoffany’s products and could see a relationship between our brands working well. After meeting their teams and discussing various processes, we agreed to begin work on the new collecton.
How do you think the overall aesthetic differs from the Signature collection and what do you think makes it so complementary to Zoffany’s product range?
Although we have a very similar aesthetic, the Zoffany design team had clear ideas for their collection and supplied mood boards with ideas for my starting point. With these influences in mind, I spent some time looking at finishes and materials and sketching lots of ideas. The prototypes stage of the process was where we worked very closely together, looking closely at colour, detailing and finishing with carefully considered shade styles and fabrics. The resulting collection is still fully sympathetic to our own Signature lighting collection.
|From left to right: Colmea Silver, Gaia Velvet Blue, Novella Bronze and Fiametta Smoke Blue||Gaia Velvet Blue and Fiametta Blue Smoke table lamps|
Which Zoffany products in particular do you think best complement the Signature range?
All of the designs sit well within the context of our Signature Range which is why it was such a pleasure developing these lights with the Zoffany team – there is a harmony and balance with this new collection which works well with our own style and shared customer demographic. The Tulipe and Celeste pendants in Rose gold are on trend with this year’s pantone colours and the Caius and Cicero ranges will be timeless and versatile in any interior.
As well drawing stylistic inspiration from Zoffany, what were some of the other sources of inspiration for designing the collection?
Coming from a fine art background, I draw my influences from a variety of sources including art, architecture, interiors, and fashion. Nature is equally inspirational with complex textures and colours being able to be adapted for an organic lighting form.
However, I also have to consider the restrictions of the medium and create designs that can be achieved within these boundaries. For example, we are increasingly using more reactive glazes, and these can vary dramatically from firing to firing. We have to accept the tolerances within these glaze finishes for most of our ceramic bases but this results in beautiful and truly individual pieces. The same variables also apply to glass. We work with several studios, all with differing specialities and techniques from solid free blown glass to mould blown glass either plain colour or with arresting volcanic minerals encased between the lustrous layers. The skill lies in knowing the limitations of what is possible.
The Collection was unveiled at this year’s Decorex International exhibition. What was the response like from those attending the event?
The feedback from both Heathfield & Co and Zoffany customers has been really positive. As usual, we had a very busy show and the Zoffany Collection was an additional draw for our customers. Orders have been placed for all designs – the Naiad and Novella ranges being especially popular.
|Tulipe Rose Gold Lustre Pendant light and Gaia table lamps at Decorex International 2015||Heathfield & Co Design Director Donna Gridley at Decorex International 2015|
Are there any designs that created a challenge with regard to the manufacturing process or materials used?
The structure and composition of the designs were achieved quite easily as I have been working in ceramics and glass for many years and know what is possible. New glass colours and reactive glazes are where the challenges arise. Many samples were submitted for consideration until the final selection was made.
Which future exhibitions will people be able to see designs from the collection at?
This year we will be exhibiting at the Scottish Interiors Showcase at the Dunblane Hydro February 16th and 17th. The Taste of Design Exhibitions follow in May with Hampton Court Garden House on the 10th, Westonbirt School in Gloucestershire on the 11th, Knebworth on the 18th and Belvoir Castle on the 19th. For the first time, the Taste of Design exhibition also visits Dublin where we will be at the Clayton Hotel on the 25th May. Finally, we will be at Decorex in September at Syon Park on the 18th-21st.
Can we expect new additions to be added to the collection?
This year we will work on more ideas together specifically focussing on metal designs and ceiling fittings. We will also look at developing an introductory shade range which will aim to incorporate some of Zoffany’s iconic and distinctive fabric prints.
Which are your personal favourite designs from the collection?
I love the elegantly spiralling form of the Naiad – the solid free blown glass has an impressive weight and the new smoke colour works beautifully encased within the clear glass form. The Mazu in Graphite is also a favourite. The intricate detailing in the texture and the reactive glaze really highlights the irregular pattern when catching the light..