Rothschild and Bickers Interview

For almost nine years, Vicki Rothschild and Mark Bickers have been creating glass designs of exceptional quality in Hertford. Among these are beautiful light fittings created using traditional glass blowing techniques. Vicki, one half of this creative partnership, spoke to us about how the company has gone from strength to strength since its creation.

LampShopOnline: Your range of blown glass lamps are versatile and suitable for any interior design project, what inspired their creation?

Vicki: We first starting designing with period interiors in mind, as most of London is period architecture. From here the ranges grew to fit different styles:

  • Vintage, Tassel, Opulent Optic: Victorian interiors
  • Retro, Bubble Light: 1950's retro interiors
  • Tiered Lights: Art Deco interiors
  • Pick-n-Mix: Modern interiors
  • LampShopOnline: Tell us a bit about the business and how it all started?

    Vicki: Mark and I were in the Royal College of Art together and when we graduated, we started sharing a studio. This lead to different collaborations and finally we decided to start a partnership. Our biggest client at the time was Ted Baker and from this bespoke work, we decided to create some bread and butter ranges or our own.

    LampShopOnline: All your products are handmade in the UK, do you think it's important to support home-grown businesses in a world of modern convenience and mass production?

    Vicki: Being made in the UK is very important to us, as we one of the key motivations when we set up as a business was to keep glass blowing alive as an industry. All or our products are handmade and they are expensive investments for any buyer, but they employ a team of people with some very special skills that would not exist without our sales.

    LampShopOnline: Is the glassblowing technique you use in your workshop much different to the historic methods used?

    Vicki: Our techniques have not changed since glass was first produced, we pretty much use the same tools and melt batch using the same materials. Obviously, there are advances in how we fuel the furnaces and polish the glass but the blowing is exactly the same, using wooden blocks and steel pipes.

    LampShopOnline: What advice would you give to other independent designers starting out in the industry?

    Vicki: I think that the most important thing is to design a product that has a specific market, there needs to be demand for what you are selling in order to develop as a business. As with any product there needs to be a unique selling point whether that is the material or making process, if you stay true to this then the rest should fall into place.

    inside the workshop at rothschild and bickers

    LampShopOnline: Who buys your products?

    Vicki: We sell mostly to trade for shops, bars and restaurants, including places like Monsoon, Phase eight, Starbucks, Harrods, the Great Northern Hotel, Mayfair Hotel, Motel One. We also work with a lot of well-known interior designers such Kelly Hoppen, Daniel Hopwood and Yoo Interiors. Our biggest client is still Ted Baker, we supply lighting features for all their international stores.

    You can follow Rothschild and Bickers on Twitter or visit their online shop.

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Published 2016/02/09

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