Simon, first of all, thank you for your time at today’s London Craft Week event with And Objects - it is always so fascinating to watch you discuss and demonstrate scagliola. We are interested to know; how did you first get to working on such a unique craft?

About 20 years ago, I was introduced to scagliola by talented designer Oriel Harwood, and it has fascinated me ever since. My background is as a painter, and scagliola is like three-dimensional paints, so it felt like a logical expansion of my interests. When I started my own business in 2016, I wanted to focus on using and creating things that I enjoyed, and scagliola was one of those strings in my bow.


For someone who isn’t familiar with the craft, how would you describe the process?

It starts with mixing natural pigments, plaster, and gelatine to create a dough-like mixture, similar to play-doh. These coloured 'doughs' are layered to form the desired pattern, often a marbled look – as seen in the new And Objects Scagliola Lamps - and then placed in a mould or on a surface to dry. Once dry, the scagliola is sanded to reveal the pattern and enhance clarity. Air bubbles are filled with scagliola paste, adding more colour. The piece is then sanded until smooth, coated with fine oil, and polished with wax.

I want to focus on using and creating things that I enjoy, and scagliola was one of those.

Working with Scagliola


What would you say is the most challenging thing about working with scagliola?

The hardest part is replicating the process to achieve the same result each time. There are many variables which contribute to the final design, so one piece will never be the same twice. Every piece has its own unqiue recipe that correlates to the precise amount of plaster and pigment for the design, but sometimes the pigment strength will vary, and you end up experimenting to find the same colour again. It truly means each piece is unique and special – which I actually think is the wonderful thing about it.


How would you say your technique or knowledge of the craft has evolved since you have started working with this material?

Scagliola dates to ancient times but has undergone a notable renaissance in the last 20 years I have been using it. There is such a broad scope, so I am always interested in finding new things to make with it. A lot of my general craft, aside from scagliola, involves creating moulds so it’s always interesting to try uses for it. Exploring different applications has kept the craft exciting and ever evolving.


What have you designed or explored recently with scagliola?

A lot of the time I am inspired to do things, just to see if it is possible. I love to explore different uses for the material and recently created a chair made from scagliola, and that was something I wasn’t sure I would be able to do! I am working on the moment on scagliola that uses bits of organic material; experimenting with using natural dyes from locally grown plants, or vegetables.



If you are interested in learning more about the beginnings of scagliola you can read our previous Journal post on this. All scagliola And Objects pieces are available to view and purchase from our website here