In 2010, Esther Patterson founded lighting company Curiousa & Curiousa in the English countryside. Eight years later, and ahead of the brand opening its first showroom in Chelsea’s World Ends Studios, she speaks to Studio about her inspiration, idols, and how the company has developed.
When was the company founded?
I launched Curiousa & Curiousa in 2010
How many staff?
I now have nine staff members and a few freelancers too.
Where is it based?
Our workshop is based in the UK – in a small rural town called Wirksworth in Derbyshire, in the East Midlands, but we have our showroom in Chelsea, London.
What is your latest significant achievement/project of note?
We’ve just installed a bespoke glass chandelier in one of the most amazing locations – Sandbanks in Poole. It’s a small peninsula or spit crossing the mouth of Poole Harbour on the English Channel. The houses there have a view of the harbour on one side and a view of the sea on the other. Sometimes I have to pinch myself when my work is being hung in such spectacular spaces.
What is your best selling product (and how much of it do you sell)?
It’s actually five products that were launched at the start, which we now brand as our Classic Pendant range. They come in five shapes and can be blown in four different sizes and 22 colours. They work so well together as a set and are really popular over kitchen islands, but look just as fabulous when used as an eclectic style in stairwells or dining areas.
I’ve just discovered…
A new master glassblower in Murano. We pride ourselves on only using UK glassblowers and craftspeople, but I really wanted the challenge of working with a Murano glassblower – there you will find some of the most accomplished glassblowers in the world. After some searching (including a nice little trip stomping the streets of Murano) I found Fabio Fornasier. He’s a master glassblower who makes the most amazing silvered and coloured glass chandeliers. I’ve designed a light inspired by his range called Fabio. He will be exclusively blowing this design and the final chandelier will be exhibited at Decorex this September – very exciting.
Who inspires me…
Mother Nature! It’s so important to me that I live in a rural location. I walk every morning before work and there’s endless inspiration from the changing seasons and landscapes – and when spring comes after a hard winter I just love that wonderful explosion and celebration of new life.
I’ve always been a fan of…
Lindsey Adelman is really out there. She’s a New York designer, stretching the boundaries of decorative lighting. Doing things you wouldn’t think possible with materials such as glass, rope, and metal. She has a very adventurous style and I would truly love to own one of her pieces.
My highlight of the last 12 months…
It’s been great getting back into drawing and painting. I’ve been using these to design personalised wallpapers to use in my new home, which we’re also using for photoshoots of our new Curiousa lights. So this year I’m really excited to be launching my first wallpaper design at Decorex – a new adventure for me.
My next design trip is to… (
My next design trip will be to Tokyo. We’re visiting an interior design company called Atelier FAVORI who will be exclusively promoting Curiousa & Curiousa throughout Japan. I visited Japan with my family back in 2006, before I started the company, and we all loved every minute of it –their amazing food, landscapes, and architecture, but also their ceramics and use of pattern. It will be so exciting to be traveling this time looking for inspiration.