James Lentaigne of Drummonds spoke to Country Life's Giles Kime about how his company create baths that will last for generations.
With its roots in the restoration of antique British baths and brassware, Drummonds has a deep understanding of what it takes to create beautiful, high quality baths that will last for generations.
Thirty years after it was founded, Drummonds now has showrooms in London and New York – and baths in some of the most beautiful houses and hotels in the world.
Country Life spoke to the company’s Creative Director James Lentaigne about the hard work, time and craftsmanship required to create a beautiful bathroom.
What sets a Drummonds bath apart?
Making a Drummonds bath requires a combination of craftsmanship, skill and accumulated experience that doesn’t just achieve the highest possible quality but also allows us to offer forms and finishes that could never be achieved with mass manufacture.
What possibilities does craftsmanship create when you make baths?
Craftsmanship provides almost infinite opportunities; we can make baths that are larger, thicker and more durable than anything on the market. Enamel powder is fused into the cast iron so that it bonds to create a stunning product that will last for generations. An example is the 14 hours a skilled craftsman takes to polish the exterior of the cast iron down, by hand, to create a beautiful and unique finish.
And what about brassware?
The lost wax casting process requires similar amounts of skill and hard work and ensures that each item is a beautiful one off. The process originated from the 3rd millennium BC and is an artisanal process used to create bronze ages sculptures. Today we use it to create bathroom fittings that are seen in the same light by many of our customers.
How important are materials?
The highest quality materials are completely integral to everything we make. We stop at nothing to track down the best materials from all over the world; the china clay is sourced in the Midlands, for example. They comply with stringent certification, such as our brass from California that complies with some of the most exacting requirements.
How has Drummonds succeeded in reviving the golden age of British bathrooms?
Our range is timeless, and as such works in a variety of environments. Some commercial projects highlight this classic environment in different settings, from some of the world’s most iconic projects such as Annabels Members Club, London, St Giles House in Dorset and Ballyfin Hotel in Ireland to Gleneagles in Scotland & Soho Houses around the world.
Tell us about Drummonds’ collaborations with Martin Brudnizki.
The best interior designers have a deep understanding of what makes a perfect design; having worked with Martin Brudnizki (whose most recent project is the interiors of the new Annabel’s private members club) on bespoke designs for his own projects we discovered that there was a real meeting of minds and we went on to develop highly successful designs together, including our Derwent lights and Ladybower vanity.