How did you start out in design?
Grant: We’re both from a Fine Art background so naturally fell into creative jobs. I was a woodworker at a
globe making studio called Bellerby & Co. Teresa worked in furniture and object production first, then as
an interior designer at Fran Hickman Design & Interiors.
Teresa: We cut our teeth in these roles but always felt a tug to make our own work. We always shared
ideas back and forth so to take the plunge and collaborate felt natural. That was the start of Wilkinson &
What inspires you?
Teresa: We always find inspiration in traditional motifs and processes. They’re often subtle
moments or shapes in sculpture or the natural world.
Grant: Recently we’ve been drawing a lot from ceramics, borrowing qualities of working with clay and
applying them to our relationship to timber. We find material and process to be our driving forces of
Do you work from your own studio space?
Grant: We’re very lucky to have our own studio space. It’s located inside Blackhorse Workshop, a shared
workshop in East London. It’s a not-for-profit that’s incredibly community driven with a diverse range of
makers and members. It’s a special place to be and we couldn’t have started our business without them.
"It’s lovely to be able to learn someone’s story or see yourself in a design."
What is the job of design in this current world we live in?
Teresa: I think we could all use some escapism. That’s not to say that design should be absent of
reflection or meaning. It’s lovely to be able to learn someone’s story or see yourself in a design.
Grant: I can’t speak for all designers, but one aim of our work is to break out of the mundane. The objects
that mass manufacturing has been pumping out have left us with interiors that all look the same. We need
character. I think our role as designers is to inspire – present objects that bring a bit more joy than the
average flat pack.
How does your design process work?
Teresa: Idea or concept development looks different every single time. Sometimes we can ideate together
from start to finish – but we learned this can cause us to fall out. We like for an idea to belong to one of us
and develop slowly. We have scheduled ‘pitch’ days and have a bit of a crit. We have a lot of individual
ideas that slowly make their way through sketchbooks in different iterations before they come to life.
Grant: Once we know we’ve got something, we’ll make small maquettes together from plasticine or wax to
bring it into the real world. When we get an idea of form, we use construction drawings and timber
prototypes to understand how it’ll manifest as furniture.
Teresa: With every brand-new design, we learn a lot from making the first edition. There’s always a few
more decisions to be made when we’re manufacturing before we get a finished piece.
How do you connect with colour/materials?
Grant: Nature makes our colour palette, so we’re always keen to experiment with different wood types to
see what surprises they throw our way. Our recent Of Nature project for SCP showcased some of the
incredible features found in the UK’s native timbers. We found some Yew which is bright purple and
Maple with shimmering ripples running all the way through.
What do you do to relax?
Grant: We have 2-year-old, so the truth is we rarely get the chance. We’re happiest kicking a ball around
in the park or watching his favourite TV show about horses for the thousandth time.
What’s your favourite song?
Grant: There’s a few family favourites – you can catch us singing ‘I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight’
by Richard and Linda Thompson during our son’s bath time. We listen to a lot of Juan Luis Guerra, a
Dominican musician and staple from Teresa’s childhood – Amor de Conoco is a favourite of his. But really,
seeing as our son is in charge, it’s usually ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ or ‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm.’
Three words that describe you?
Grant: We’re both meticulous, aspirational, and hands-on.
Work, life, play – how do you balance them?
Teresa: It isn’t easy! After a few bouts of burnout, we’ve learned to be more careful about switching work
off. When we have our son, we try to give him 100%. We’re both fond of running – it’s how we get some
Futurism or classicism?
Teresa: Both, please. My tastes range from blobby furniture made from strange materials to stone-carved
architectural columns. You need a range lest you get bored.
Art or design?
Grant: Depends on the day – we try to access both regularly. We use exhibition visits as a way to open up
our visual language in materials and medium.
Teresa: We are more comfortable as designers than artists, though we attempt to marry the two as much
Home or away?
Teresa: I immigrated from New York to London years ago, so it always feels like I’m simultaneously home
and away. My family is in Manhattan and Grant’s is in the countryside outside of London and both are
such bases for us. Out of the 10 years we’ve lived in London, we’ve had to move every year. We’re mildly
Grant: We do bounce around. When we can, we disguise a vacation within a responsible excuse, e.g. we
were in Salone del Mobile this year so we took a family trip to Milan.
What advice do you have to any new designer?
Teresa: A lot of what you see on social media is smoke and mirrors, so don’t get discouraged. Keep
creating and opportunities will show themselves.
Grant: When we’re away from the workshop, it feels like we can only do half the job – you need to get your
hands on something and prototype it until you understand it fully. Sketching is a great place to start but it’ll
only get you so far. Try and develop technical making skills so you can bring your ideas into the real
What are you working on at the moment?
Teresa: We’re eagerly broadening our scope. We have plans to work on interiors, small objet, and in
editorial. We’ve got more to show people and more to say.
Grant: We’re keen to make bigger pieces for public spheres! That’s definitely on the cards for the future.
Find them here