“Our design ethos is to be as original, eclectic and exciting as possible,” says Porta Romana’s creative director Andrew Hills, introducing the latest collections from the company’s Surrey workshop as part of London Design Week 2021’s ‘Spotlight’ video series. For Hills, the workshop is the heart of the business, and “the thing that makes Porta Romana special”. Here, metal, wood and composites are transformed by skilled artisans into exquisite pieces using skills such as painting and gilding, giving each piece the mark of a hand-crafted object.. From convincingly aged plaster to perfecting the patina of a mussel shell, each new finish must work in harmony with the design.
The company also works with external talents for specific materials, such as glassblower Adam Aaronson, who makes the new ‘Vespa’ table lamp (above right), which features a unique pattern of stripes in each piece. Studio potter Dylan Bowen’s ‘Dylan’ and ‘Dougal’ glazed ceramic lamps are also new additions.
Making and finishing products in-house also enables Porta Romana to be adaptable when it comes to customised creations, explains Hills. “We’re always happy to experiment with new colours, finishes and patinations in response to what customers are after. It’s always exciting for us to see our designs come to life in a different finish.”
Other just-launched products include the ‘Toucan’, wall-light, modelled on an original found in an antiques market, and the ‘Agnes’ table lamp (pictured with Hills, above left), a female nude sculpture that features a newly developed bronze finish with a glimmering patinated surface.