Product of the Week – Retro Light from Rothschild & Bickers
How retro are you? No matter what your style is our Product of the Week the Retro Light from Rothschild & Bickers is timeless! Beutifully described as, “sleek handblown glass with a modernist streamlined spun copper top” even just saying it slides off your tongue. Their pieces can also be found in Eat Sleep Live‘s new showroom where they accompany rustic handmade furniture and the best of British upholstery.
Rothschild & Bickers is one of the last glassworks that is still active in the UK where their glass is handblown. Their furnace glows throughout the night firing at a temperature of 1100C! Just half a century ago there were hundreds of similar studios now there are only around thirty, with Rothschild & Bickers being the only glassworks who focus their designs on lighting. Straight away as you view their collections you start to choose your favourite style, colour and shape, you may even envisage how they may look in your house! Their striking designs are all created by hand with different options of glass and colours for you to swoon over. Here are some creative ways of how the Retro Light has already been used (Interior by Lisa Burke Interiors and River Island, UK)
Behind the Glassworks
Despite the use of electricity in present day glassworks, the process and tools are much the same as when the craft first originated, which can be dated back to the Phoenicians on the Palestinian coast, around 50BC. The finished pieces provide a bridge between
the traditional and the contemporary, bringing ancient and Victorian processes to 21st century design and fittings.
“I love the design work,” says Rothschild. “But the fact that I know I am keeping a craft alive, and for a good reason, is what makes it worthwhile. “What’s more, glassblowing gives me the freedom to experiment with a fascinating material every day. I’m often surprised when the glass can do things we hadn’t thought were possible.”
Rothschild and Bickers have over twenty years of experience between them, they make the complex skill of glassblowing looks simple. A stick of colour is chosen, picked up on the end of a blowing iron and softened in a gas fired chamber known as the ‘glory hole’.
“Every piece that we create,” explains Rothschild, “whether it’s a bespoke commission or something from one of our signature collections, is an original. Each one is free blown and comes with its own tiny irregularities. It is impossible to imagine the many steps and techniques which go into producing each of our designs if you haven’t seen the process for yourself.”
Victoria Rothschild and Mark Bickers met at the Royal College of Art, London, while studying for Masters degrees in Applied Art Ceramic & Glass. They soon began working together, winning Worshipful Company of Glass and RSA awards. They set up Rothschild & Bickers in 2007 and moved to their present studio in Hertford in late 2011. The company is well known for its sophisticated and unique designs, but behind the lighting adorning stylish hotels, restaurants, bars, shops and homes across the UK, Europe, US, Asia and Australia, is a mission to keep a dying craft alive.