England-based lighting company Original BTC is making its North American debut with a new showroom opening in Soho this month. We chatted with founder and lead designer Peter Bowles about the move and learned about one of the company's lighting fixtures, the Fin Pendant.
Tell us a bit about your background and experience as Original BTC’s founder and lead designer.
Original BTC was established in 1990 in Oxford, England. The brand is best known for its original British designs that both are timeless and classic. Hand-assembled in the U.K. from the finest bone china, metal and glass, our table, floor, wall and pendant lights are instantly comfortable and elegant.
Original BTC is opening a new showroom in Soho—what inspired this move?
I personally love New York and our designs have always been appreciated there. I also think that any company with serious global aspirations has to have a presence in New York, it’s a key market in the design industry especially.
What’s your design style?
All of our designs have a similar feel and are recognizable though styling, materials, detail and individual quality. We are all about:
- Design: Each of our lights, while they are similar in style, are all unique. We design products that are relaxed, unprocessed, functional, and most importantly, are not mass produced.
- Raw materials: We love using raw materials to produce our designs. We use a combination of metal, Bone China, natural cotton braided cables and mouth-blown glass.
- British: Our brand celebrates our British heritage. We not only draw inspiration from Britain’s rich post industrialization history, but also design and manufacture our products at home in the U.K.
- Timeless: Our products are designed to last. We create pieces that are contemporary, yet timeless.
- Iconic: Our brand has become instantly recognizable and highly esteemed. Our Hector, Titan, and Task collections have gained an enthusiastic following, which we’re extremely proud of.
Tell us about the Fin Pendant—what are its qualities and what inspired you to create it?
The qualities extend beyond the design into British made natural materials from the handmade Bone china organic form shade with finishing details of natural cotton braided cable and matching ceiling sconce. This developed from the concept of working with the Bone china which gives a wonderful warm light and taking the material to it’s limit in form whilst creating a play with the light contrast where the material is denser, forming a very appealing light and shading mix. Beautiful both when lit or unlit, and tactile.
Could you take us through the design process, from when you first had the idea to the creation of the final product?
The design is a culmination of more than 25 years of working with Bone china. The elegant material combined with our technical abilities creates a unique form that offers a wonderful play of light when illuminated, and is also attractive when unlit. The design features a natural, organic form that is created from a ten piece segmented mould that is hard to make but very much worth the effort.
What’s next for Original BTC?
Our goal is to continue to evolve as a company and lead in our field. We have a wonderful selection of products and we aim to continue developing new designs and collections. We are also expanding our global reach by working with great clients around the world, building our base in New York and extending to other design hotspots around the world.