Clayworks clay plasters were specified for Sophies Steakhouse, restaurant design by Trellik Design Studio.

It’s the light

Sophies Steakhouse, Soho, London

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.

George Bernard Shaw

J M W Turner, the painter of light itself, was the first artist to truly capture and portray the wonderful, unique light of Cornwall, with its intense colours in tranquil settings. His 1811 armchair travel guide, Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England, established Cornwall as Britain’s equivalent of the Mediterranean and as a mecca for artists to this day.

The clean air of the extreme south west of the country, which juts into the North Atlantic, shifts the colour ‘temperature’ to the cooler blue end of the spectrum and this affects the tonality of reflected light which will be altered by the surface from which it is reflected: sea, moor and sand.

Light cannot be built, but it can be designed into a building and great design can be determined by the interplay of light and materials.

It is our job to bring design and imagination to life and when Trellik Design Studio was tasked with turning a former dark Soho cinema into a contemporary restaurant, they envisioned a wall material on which natural light from new, vast rooflights, could dance to create beauty, movement and atmosphere.

We wanted to use a natural yet contemporary material to complement the historic layers of patched brick walls that we uncovered. The smoothness of the clay contrasts with the rough bricks. We feel Clay brings depth, intimacy and warmth to the space, bringing a sense of hygge and calmness to an otherwise oversized space. 

Jean Dumas, Trellik Design Studio

Taking inspiration from the natural world

The impact that design, light and materials can have on mood is huge and the colours specified by Trellik  were originally inspired by the beautiful sands of Cornwall. They help to evoke memory and experience – and a sense of being closer to nature. Clayworks White in Smooth Top Coat was inspired by silky white beaches of St Martin, Isles of Scilly, while Dune is inspired by the more golden wild sands of North Cornwall.

…the quality of light and colour… reminds me of the Mediterranean light and colour, which so excites one’s sense of form.

Barbara Hepworth, referencing St Ives, Cornwall

Our team spend countless hours conceptualising new finishes and new colours, yet some of the most exciting results occur when designers draw on our existing colours and textures to blend and create ever more inspirational effects, working in collaboration with Clayworks and with expert artisan plasterers.