Every week, our team of fabulous florists is tasked with creating spectacular floral installations throughout some of London’s finest hotels, eateries and establishments. Naturally, this requires not only heaps of talent, but the perfect props to fulfil the designs, and most importantly, the right vases. Behind the scenes in the busy hub of McQueens HQ in Bethnal Green, there are vast rows of spectacular vases and bottles and containers as far as the eye can see, and we are proud and delighted to welcome Dutz Collection as our latest supplier of fine, hand-blown glassware. This week in our Spotlight series, we speak to Dutz Collection about the story behind their brand, philosophy and style.
Let’s start with a little introduction to DutZ, how was the company founded?
The brand DutZ Collection was founded in 2006 and is owned by the company Nethroma which was launched in Ijsselmuiden, the Netherlands, in 1996 — soon after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. During their subsequent travels our founders, Berno van Dooren and Bastiaan Kommers, discovered several glass factories in Romania and the concept of importing mouth-blown glassware was born. The invention of the Dutz brand in 2006 coincided with a period of rapid export growth and now DutZ is exported around the world.
What is your philosophy?
Mouth-blown, hand-formed, quality glassware. Every vase, bowl, pot, candle holder, candle glass, drinking glass or carafe is the result of dedicated craftsmanship of the glassmakers from our Eastern European factories.
What does DutZ stand for?
DutZ is an abbreviation of ‘Durf Uitgesproken Te Zijn’, which can be translated as ‘dare to be distinct’. Our collections are unique because of our passion for the craft of glassblowing and the result of dedicated craftsmanship of the glassmakers from our glass factories. We spend a huge amount of time invested in the development of new products and strive to bring new and exciting designs out every season.
How do you develop your collections and create new designs?
Floristry and the interior design are very much intertwined in Holland and you will find many florists that also sell home decor and accessories. With such abundant supply, flowers aren’t necessarily considered expensive or a luxury in Holland, so we buy many and often. Design is a huge deal, particularly for floral and plant vessels and we have a very lively industry that makes plant containers and flower vessels, in glass, ceramics, plastics and other materials. We work very closely with influential florists, glass artists and interior designers to create our vessels and colour schemes, and we’ll also keep an eye out for international design trends, too. We currently have a stunning limited-edition vase range created by Finnish artist Sini Majuri. And above all, we make what we like ourselves!
What key trends are you seeing at the moment?
I don’t want to mention Scandinavian design as we are a Dutch company! But the Dutch have a similar style: sleek, functional beauty, simple elegance, but with high-quality materials and a certain playfulness. Fortunately, this aesthetic is very much up and coming in the UK, and big names are paving the way such as designer Marcel Wanders from Moooi. Moreover, natural materials and durability are very much in focus, cheap plastic is a thing of the past and materials such as ceramics and glass are on the rise.
What methods do you use to create your vases?
All of our glassware is handcrafted and mouthblown by our artisan glassblowers. There is really only one method for this, and that craft is literally ancient. Glass is quite a complex material to work with and it is very labour intensive process. We usually start with a sketch, which is then created into a sample and from there a wooden mould is created. Following this, we can only use the mould a number of times before the intense heat wears the wood out and so the process begins again.
Our designs get very creative and we use air bubbles (which create beautiful light refraction), metal chips, shards of other glass, thickness, glass layering, frosted effects and various colouring techniques to create the designs you see in front of you.
Where are your vases stocked?
We primarily work with florists and love selling our range through florists and plant shops. We also work closely with interior design shops. So, we have some ranges that are more suitable for flower containers, or plant pots and others are much more centre pieces for interior design.
What’s in store for the future?
DutZ is hugely popular in Holland and Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Scandinavia and increasingly, more European countries including the UK. It has been encouraging to see how many interior designers, hotels and florists have taken up our range and we receive almost daily queries from new stockists. We are excited to expand in the UK and invite more businesses to stock our range. We’ve only been working in the UK for a year or so and we are very proud that a premium florist like McQueens is an early adopter, it has been wonderful spotting our vases at some very prestigious hotels in London!