Today’s DreamwallStyle blog is all about ‘Zoe Darlington’ a Designer and maker of hand stitched unique lamps, that unite tradition and wit beautifully.
Zoe searches for the most beautiful old lamps then with her talents she will rejuvenate them with fine workmanship and modern wit, and elevate them into exceptional, striking objects that will last a lifetime.
Q1. Have you always enjoyed working with fabrics and stitching?
A1. For as long as I can remember I have loved fabrics. My Grandmother was a dress maker and had treasure chests of fabrics in her spare bedroom and attic. I would rummage through these as a child with absolute delight. Sadly my Grandmother is no longer with us but I inherited all her fabrics and love it when the right opportunity arises to use one. So much care went into choosing each fabric, and the history that each one has is absolutely fascinating to me.
Q2 Please tell me more about your back ground?
A2. I graduated with a First Class degree in Fine Art in 2002 and the raw creative freedom I was part of every day for 4 years informs the way I think and make decisions now. There can be no compromise with aesthetics or integrity. I did a lot of pattern making during my degree and a sidestep into Fashion seemed a natural move. I was a buyer and later a product developer for the British high street. Although I enjoyed many aspects of it – like picking best selling prints and developing fabrics, I wasn’t a natural fit for the corporate world and I missed the creative energy of personally making things.
Q3. What Inspired you to set up your Zoe Darlington as a business?
A3.I have always been hugely passionate about the beauty of fabrics, the physicality of making things and the integrity of British manufacture, and throughout my life I’ve been compelled to make things that attest to these qualities. Following an accident that led to a couple of years of rehabilitation, I began studying Soft Furnishing and Upholstery which I’d always been interested in and never previously found enough time for. It pulled together so many of my skills from pattern making to technical fabric knowledge, from design to sourcing materials and the creation of a product. I got such a buzz from creating something beautiful from start to finish! I quickly had a lot of interest in my work and began taking on commissions. This year I decided to launch a website so that I could reach more people with my designs and I haven’t looked back.
Q4. What makes Zoe Darlington a cut above the rest?
A4. The mischievous use of colour and pattern combined with uncompromising workmanship and attention to detail. These lamps are artisan investment pieces which will last a lifetime.
Q5. What plans do you have for the future with your business?
A5. I love the idea that my lamps give people pleasure – they’re unique pieces that people desire, invest in and cherish throughout their life. My only plan is to keep producing work that meet this criteria. From the amount of interest and support I’ve received since the website launch, I know it will be an exciting journey, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me!
Q6. Do you do special one off commissions?
A6. I take on bespoke commissions for clients who want something extra special and unique for them. Past commissions have included a panelled lamp including a special scrap of tapestry fabric that belonged to their Grandmother. I sourced other fabrics to complement the tapestry and transformed it from being a lost artefact to being a vital part of a beautiful, sculptural light that the client could enjoy every day. Interior designers often commission bespoke work when they want a really special piece to set off a room.
Q7. Do you exhibit or plan too?
A7. Zoe Darlington hasn’t exhibited yet – the company is very young and all publicity has come from word of mouth. It is a very exciting time! Future exhibitions will be announced on Twitter and Facebook. I love meeting likeminded people, and hearing what they think – so do stop by and chat to me if you see me at an exhibition.
Q8.Where can we buy your products?
A8. You can currently buy my products directly through me. Just send me an email and I’ll come back to you straight away with prices and availability. 2012 will see Zoë Darlington lamps available through quality, aspirational design stores.
DreamwallStyle would like to thank Zoe for taking the time out to be interviewed. We adore your work and we wish you all the success for the future.
DreamwallStyle would also like to credit Natalie Dinham for the fantastic Photographs supplied, thank you.
To find out more about ‘Zoe Darlington’ then please visit the website here: http://www.zoedarlington.co.uk/
Follow Zoe on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/ZoeDarlingtonUK