Commissioning Process

The commissioning process is one of my favourite activities. It is a chance to work in collaboration with my clients and find out more about what they want. They often come up with new ideas that I wouldn't have thought of on my own and between us we create new lighting and tile pieces for their home.

This summer I worked with a local lady who had just moved into the area. She wanted some tiles for her downstairs bathroom:

She had seen the cowparsley coasters that I had in our shop and she liked the size of the coasters and the effect that the cowparsley flowers have pressed into the porcelain clay.  She wanted her tiles made the size of the coasters and was keen to have the cowparsley flowers impressed into her tiles too. This meant that I had to work quickly to make the porcelain tiles before the cowparsley went out of season. I took a selection of colour samples to her house and we looked at what went best with her overall decor and colours. Whilst I was visiting her space and helping her choose colours she also decided that she wanted tiny tiles made to go on a picture frame in the same room, matching the tiles behind the sink:

When the commission was finished she then asked to have some tiles made for the floor. She says:

"I first met Liz when I was looking for houses planning my move to St Leonard’s. She made me feel so excited and happy about what I was doing and my visits to her shop became a real highlight for me. Her beautiful hand crafted tiles were an obvious choice for our new home to make it special. Together we worked on a design to complement the space - the downstairs toilet - creating a bespoke treat for anyone visiting our home. Liz cared and created. I love the feel her tiles have given to the space and will always look forward to spending a penny. Thank you Liz - you are special" - Amanda (St Leonards)

If you are thinking about commissioning a lighting or tile piece email me your thoughts, give me a call, or drop into our shop so we can go through your ideas. Between us we can create something really personal to you. I can help you choose colours, textures and sizes based on your specific needs. If you have a favourite flower, plant or texture it can be impressed into the design. Some people have flowers or lace from their wedding or other life events immortalised in their lamps or tiles. I can offer consultation by phone, email or even a personal meeting in our shop in St Leonards.


"Liz makes stunningly beautiful ceramic lighting that I have been admiring for a along time. I have bought her lights for a variety of friends, for a variety of occasions - Christmas, Birthdays, Engagements, Weddings, etc

All of them hugely enjoyed the experience of going into Liz's studio discussing with her which patterns and colour they would like for their special lamp - so much so, that getting the final piece is almost the icing on the cake. Apart from the fact that they all continue to love their unique pieces, and enjoy using them every day.

What makes it a joy to deal with Liz, is her keen business sense, which, paired with her creativity, allows her into an in-depth dialogue with the client. This ensures that the client ends up with exactly the piece they envisaged - even if at the beginning they might have been a little apprehensive about the commissioning process.

I can highly recommend you let Liz light up your - or your friends lives." - Nicole Bachmann (Brook & Mann, London)


"Your patience, understanding and service was magnificent throughout. I can thoroughly recommend Liz Emtage Ceramics to anyone wishing to add a unique and loving touch of elegance, function and aesthetics to their business or home." - Dr Kathy Nathan (Gentle Dental, London)


"I’ve liked Liz’s work from the moment I was introduced to it and didn’t need much of an excuse to buy the first piece, a large lamp with the traces of rose stems and flower heads impressed into the body. It has pride of place in the family room. I then bought another smaller piece — a little night light. And that too has a special place in the home. I have even considered replacing our recessed ceiling lights in order to justify getting a few of Liz’s pendant porcelain shades. Apart from looking for excuses to have another piece at home I’ve also bought Liz’s ceramics as wedding presents for friends. Their deceptively simple organic lines soften a room instantly. The way light passes through their surface is mesmerising. It's like looking into the flickering flames of a fire in a grate." - David Hughes (David Hughes Associates Ltd)


"It was the distinctiveness and elegant delicacy that first attracted us to Liz’s work, now almost twenty years ago. Liz is easy-going, listens and reflects and is happy to iterate on ideas, maintaining a dry sense of humour, until we are all satisfied with the concept and its means of execution. We enjoyed thinking about how, having a light made to a particular size or design we could transform a mundane space with a distinctive addition. Liz is good at guiding a discussion from an initial design concept, infusing her artistic inspiration and deep practicality as to the limits of her fine porcelain. The delightful element about Liz’s work is the uncertainty in how the shape of the lamps emerge from the kiln. Occasionally our commissions have come out rather more uniform than we might have hoped, often the unpredictable wobbles give a piece it’s unique character. The benefit in buying a pre-made piece is that one can select from a range of definite options, however this is at the expense of not influencing the specific size and design at all. The lamps are a continuing pleasure to walk by and keep illuminated by day or night (their character changes with the intensity and nature of the background light sources)." - Stephen and Lorna, (Wales)


"We initially met Liz during the Dulwich Open House days. We were immediately attracted to her work the light, almost fragile, forms and shapes were so appealing. We spoke with Liz and decided to commission a bespoke piece of ceramic art from her. We wanted to incorporate images from our garden and, at Liz’s suggestion, we brought to her studio, from our garden, some favourite Agapanthus blooms which were rolled into the porcelain and made the finished work very personal to us.

We loved the active participation of the commissioning process and the opportunity to use our own plants in the creation of the piece. Working with Liz was a real pleasure and treat – educational, involved and fun. The memory of that experience adds to the joy the piece gives us. It remains a very special piece of art for us and has pride of place beside a picture window that frames our new garden in Cornwall.

Your work continues to give us pleasure and pride in having such a great piece in our house. It sits at the top of our stairs on a huge picture window overlooking the garden - in which we still have Agapanthus. We see it as a future heirloom for our children." - Ian and Denise (Cornwall)


"I bought a lampshade from you at Cockpit Arts a long time ago. Just to say I love it, every time I turn the light on it gives me joy. Thank you."  Sarah (London)


"The tile splash back for our new kitchen includes grasses and seed heads from our own garden. It has been made specifically to fit our exact requirements. A strikingly unique yet delicate work of art." - Stephen and Lorna, (Wales)