Emma Britton, High Colour And lllustrative Decorative Glass Designer

by Becky Hoh in Bespoke stories

If you fancy commissioning a truly bespoke and fresh piece of decorative glass, fabric or wallpaper from an up and coming designer maker who’s star is on the rise, Emma Britton could be your girl.

Emma Britton set up her Derbyshire surface design business, with a specialism in glass, in June 2010 with an Enterprise Grant after working in the glass industry and completing a degree in Printed Textile Design from Loughborough University. And things have been moving quickly ever since.

On leaving Uni she began to work in the Sales Development for a leading glass manufacturer but soon realised her heart just wasn’t in it.

‘I really missed designing,’ Britton explains, ‘so I made the jump to set up my own business and went on to win a business plan competition in 2010 and earlier this year was highly commended with an Enterprise award. And things have gone from strength to strength. I am now working with interior designers, architects and kitchen designers on commissions for all sorts of private homes and commercial projects.’

‘I have just created a splashback for a family farmhouse which featured plants which grew on the farm.’

Now a regular exhibitor at 100% Design and having recently upgraded to a new studio, the team is expanding. Formally ‘just me!’ Emma says, there is now a glass fitter and two other office staff members, which will allow Britton to concentrate her time  more or less fully on the design side as she wants to remain committed to offering bespoke products even as things grow.

She does also have a product line, involving her glass panels, wallpapers and fabrics and furniture, believing it is important to have different price points in order to make her work accessible to wider audiences.  

‘I have four collections, two splashback collections, my debut ‘Up the garden path’ and the recently launched ‘Maple’ collection,’ says Britton. ‘Maple has 32 designs so that gives the client more choice without going truly bespoke. I also have a range of furniture designed with Jack Mathieson, a Nottingham designer, featuring lace inspired tables. On top of this I offer smaller limited edition homewares, including linens and wallpaper to match the ‘Up the garden path’ collection.’

Her work has an illustrative feel, but her use of colour gives products a very fashion forward edge, almost pop art in some places. For example, the Poppy Wallpaper has large scale florals with screen print style outlines. And the Maple glass splashbacks have graphic patterns almost reminiscent of islamic geometric designs, actually based on an idea of Nottingham lace, but with neon accents and highlighted patterns.

Her work has mostly been applied to private homes but more commercial enquiries are filling up her portfolio too. At present she is working on two large window panels for a Victorian house, inspired by the client’s photography collection.

‘The challenge is that the glass is designed to work from the inside and the outside as it has to offer privacy but still allow plenty of light to pass through,’ Britton describes.

And she is also working on on ideas for a tearoom in Nottingham.

She loves the problem solving element of bespoke work as well as the completely personal service it can bring.

‘It might be a space which needs life injecting into it or a pattern designed specifically to match their decor,’ she describes, ‘for instance I have just created a splashback for a family farmhouse which featured plants which grew on the farm. It’s lovely, I still get really excited when the final pieces are installed!’

She has also just finished the piece a custom made ‘seaside’ splashback. ‘It includes, deck chairs, bunting, boats and beach huts and I’m going to Devon to complete the installation next week. That’s the beauty of bespoke, you can have what you want!’

Emma Britton  –  www.emmabritton.net

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