Emma Britton – decorative glass designer

At this year’s RHS Chatsworth Flower Show (2018) I came across some beautiful glassware designed by Emma Britton. The glass was enchanting, evoking a cool summery feel with delicate fronds and perfect for use in the garden or home.

A quick glance at Emma’s website – www.emmabritton.net – and I realised that her talents went way beyond beautiful drinking glasses.

Emma started working with glass at university when in the third year of her textile design course she was encouraged to try working with new materials as opposed to fabric. For Emma glass was a good choice because she knew that she could work on the inside and the outside and layer it up.

After university Emma went to work in the glass industry having decided that glass was a medium she wanted to design for and work with. After working in the industry selling plain coloured glass to architects and interior designers she realised that they wanted something different and thought, “why not apply florals to glass and decorate that way rather than just on fabrics and wallpapers?” This was back in 2010 and at the time Emma’s idea was very original as there wasn’t anything similar on the market.

Emma admits that she has always been inspired by suburban gardens, or rogue flowers that have popped up in an unexpected landscape: “As a designer I draw the best bits of nature, I am often inspired by a contrasting colour palette such as blue hydrangeas in front of a painted yellow garage. I take snaps of things I like ready for when I am back in the studio. I like drawing traditional English garden flowers such as foxgloves, lupins, iris, fuchsias and hydrangeas and I’m lucky enough to be asked to draw a huge variety of others in my bespoke work,” she said.

Emma started her business with an Enterprise Grant for East Midland’s graduates, and created the ‘Up the Garden Path‘ collection of splashbacks and her now signature Foxglove design. Other collections were quickly added and a couple of years later came her floral glassware range: “It’s been so popular I’ve added wine glasses and champagne flutes this year on demand. The pattern matches the ‘White Flora’’ and ‘’Watercolour’’ splashback designs from my Maple Collection and gives my clients the opportunity to buy additional matching items while at the same time being a great stand-alone gift item.”

Emma’s clients can choose from one of her collections and as all splashbacks are made to order, they usually take about two to three weeks to make. However, clients can also commission designs which are painted to order taking six weeks: “I always recommend thinking about your glass splashback from the start of your project and not to leave it as an afterthought. This way you can choose all your kitchen paint shades, flooring etc together. However, a lot of my customers who choose my Bespoke Design Service do so because they haven’t been able to find what they have been looking for and this means I can create a design just for them,” Emma explains.

A new glassware range will be launching early 2019 and recently Emma has been commissioned by Weleda to create their Christmas 2018 collection, capturing the essence of The Field, Weleda’s 13-acre Demeter-certified gardens in Derbyshire, close to Emma’s studio.

Emma’s designs can be found in kitchens and bathrooms nationwide and her popular glassware is found in independent stockists all over the UK. Her skilled technique and beautiful designs bring nature and the garden inside in distinctive and beautifully crafted work. Her inspiration comes from British suburbia and although her patterns are contemporary they are firmly rooted in nostalgia.

She clearly loves her work and really enjoys seeing how clients connect with her patterns and how they work in different homes from small cottages to huge new builds. Her ‘Glasshouse’ collection has its roots in opulent orangeries and colourful terrariums, whereas her ‘Sunset’ design (inspired by a trip to Kew Gardens) captures the beauty of orange Fritillaria Imperialis.

The range of her work is simply stunning and I can’t wait to see her new glassware collection when it’s launched in 2019. To see her collections for splashbacks and the contemporary range of homeware and glassware please visit: https://www.emmabritton.net

Photographs are ©Emma Britton, bottom photograph of Emma credit Elly Lucas for Weleda.