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Bethan Grey: Set The Scene

Bethan Gray

Bethan Gray

The quirky and inimitable British designer’s work is fueled by her passion for luxurious natural materials, matched with an impressive knowledge of craftsmanship. Here, she gives BAZAAR an exclusive peek into her world.

Creative aesthetic?

I love working with natural materials like leather, marble, and solid wood combined with detailed production techniques to create pieces that are warm, contemporary, elegant, and timeless.

An inspiring destination?

Am just back from a trip to India, and while I was there, I fell completely in love with Samode Haveli in Jaipur. It has the most exquisite jewel-like interiors, which have intricate detailing and amazing craftsmanship.

The foundation of your designs?

My designs are rooted to both traditional Welsh culture and craft as well as to geometric patterns and the use of light found in the East.

Inspiration behind your Stud table?

That was inspired by the stud detailing found on doors in the Asian and Arabic worlds. Originally studs served as a means of attaching two materials together, such as leather and wood. Over time they became more ornate and were used as a decoration in themselves.

Your home is filled with … ?

Pieces I’ve collected from across the globe. Wherever we travel, we love to collect textiles and wooden utensils including spoons and chopping boards made by local craftspeople. I’m absolutely obsessed with these! I’ve combined them with my husband’s art collection, which mainly comprises of works by Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau.

Ideal materials to work with?

Natural materials, of course.

Recent collaboration?

One with stone specialist Lapicida, who is just as passionate about stone as I am. We’ve collaborated on a series of dining tables that feature complex brogueing details, precisely carved into the solid slab of marble by state-of-the-art machinery before being hand-finished by Lapicida craftsmen.

First memory of art and discovering your passion?

I had my first taste of design at a very young age as my grandfather worked as a forester and made small carved objects for me as a child. He really nurtured my love of crafting objects from natural materials.

The nuts and bolts of creating an object?

Very early on in my creative process I’m already thinking about how a product could be made. Quite often I will talk to the craftspeople about the level of detailing that they are experts in and that can be added.

Sketch book or camera?

I take my camera everywhere with me and I’m always taking photos of details that influence my research.

Upcoming projects?

A very exciting project involving objects made from semi-precious stones – that’s all I can say at the moment.

Currently working on?

Overseas collaborations that further explore my love of pattern and geometry. I’m also expecting my first child this summer.