Margit Wittig is a London-based sculptor, painter and designer-maker of contemporary bespoke lighting, screens and occasional furniture. We love Margit’s figurative lamp designs, which are inspired by her previous career as a physiotherapist. Margit has an in-depth knowledge of the human form, which she recreates in an array of materials such as bronze, clay, resin, glass and jesmonite.
When Margit was first branching out, we snapped up her table lamps which we knew would be perfect for the Anrep Room at The Whitby Hotel. This week, we caught up with Margit Wittig to hear about her inspiration…
1. You trained and worked as a physiotherapist, what made you move into the design world?
I have always been artistic. I grew up in a very creative environment, with my mother being an artist we painted watercolours of our garden. Every year before Christmas we collected old candles to melt the wax to cast festive ornaments which filled the house with a wonderful scent.
I trained as a physiotherapist and didn’t sign up for a sculpting course until later. I stopped working as a physiotherapist when we moved to the US in 1997. When I returned to London as a young mother of two, I wanted a creative outlet and started figurative sculpting at the London Art Academy which I totally fell in love with. Over the years I have developed my own abstract style.
My sculpted heads, along with other shapes of resin and glass developed into lamps, which became a hobby. My first orders were from friends but they were soon noticed by interior designers.
2. How would you describe your work?
Kit once described my designs as ‘curious, intriguing, classical, yet lyrical.’ I would say my work is sculptural and functional. I enjoy designing new pieces which have a purpose, like lighting, tables, tabletops, door handles and room dividers, but enriching them with artistic components to transform each piece into a unique object.
3. We admire the craftsmanship of your lamps, where do you find your inspiration?
Everyone says that I turned lighting into art. Inspiration comes from many sources; the forms of my figurines are informed by art, in particular the sculptures of Brancusi and Giacometti.
I am very fond of texture. On dog walks or gallery visits, I take snapshots of the barks of trees or zoom into paintings to look closely at the brush strokes. This inspires my own work as I like to create a unique organic texture by applying different layers of patina to add depth.
4. In recent years, you have expanded your collection into making and designing tables, mirrors, screens and even door handles. What is your favourite piece to make and why?
I’ll always be busy making new lamp stands and I love to work on different designs. Most recently I have designed a new table. The original was made of clay with imprints of tree bark. It is a cube shaped occasional table or stool which I am looking forward to casting in bespoke colour schemes.
5. You use many different materials in your work. What do you most like to work with and why?
I use a lot of materials in my work such as bronze, resin, jesmonite but clay is my first choice. It’s wonderfully versatile; you can use it to create shape, texture and really mess around with it. If the thing you’re making gets a bit exhausted or doesn’t work out you can simply squash it together and start again. I don’t like wasting material. I use clay to make the moulds for resin sculptures as well as developing ideas.
6. Do you have a favourite piece of work you have created over the years?
A favourite piece of mine is the screen I designed last year, because it is one of my first large scale creations. It is a display of many different sculptural components and can be used as a room divider or just as a decorative piece of functional art.
The resin elements included in the screen can be rotated to give it a new and changing appearance creating a different ‘look’ every time. As with all my other pieces, you can choose from all the different components and position them to create your bespoke screen.
Margit’s works are truly creative works of art, as well as being functional. We hope you love her style as much as we do!