Come behind the scenes with our photography team, at our latest photoshoot where we headed to one of Oxfordshire’s hidden treasures – Aynhoe Park – to shoot the newest tiles and paint colours from our spring range.
Here at Fired Earth, our photoshoots take us far and wide. “We’re always searching for locations that will inspire and captivate, because they’re the most exciting to look at, and in turn, make the prospect of retiling a bathroom or decorating a kitchen something to really anticipate. But at the same time, there needs to be consistency in the style of our locations; they’re always a fusion of historic and forward-thinking and show you how you can be eccentric and reserved at the same time. Finding the perfect places to shoot, therefore, is never an easy task ,” explained Colin. And then we found it. The hunt for a new location to shoot our latest paint colours and tiles for the spring range (launched this March), was over.
Imagine a classic Cotswold manor house with its quintessential honeyed stone exterior, stunning Georgian-esque sash windows, stately architecture and landscaped gardens (by Capability Brown no less). Set in a postcard-pretty, medieval village on the outskirts of Oxfordshire with nothing but rolling countryside surrounding, Aynhoe Park is the very depiction of old England, and yet it’s also a bit of a paradox. Something that appealed to us instantly. It sounded like all of the things we believe in as a brand.
Photography: Barker Evans
Step inside, and everything changes. ‘Playfully surreal’, ‘a playground of the imagination’, ‘an escape from the predictable’ and ‘an antidote to the everyday’ – all descriptions that Aynhoe Park uses to describe its intriguing identity. Your typical private country house it is not. “When we arrived to check it out, we couldn’t quite believe our eyes. It’s not at all what you expect. Yes, the proportions of the rooms are, as is the amount of natural light that pours in and the classical period features, but you’re also surrounded by taxidermy, contemporary art, towering palm tree floor lamps and curiosity after curiosity. It was exactly the sort of thing we were after. A location that combines English heritage with luxurious grandeur and elegance with exuberance. I knew the Fired Earth sense of quiet confidence would really come through here.”
When our team scouted Aynhoe Park, it was summertime. A gloriously bright and sunny day where the Orangery was almost glittering with light and stood out to us as the best room for our shoot. "It felt like the most aspirational spot, but was still incredibly inviting, which is what our product should bring to your home.” But the actual photoshoot didn’t take place until November, which was an entirely different affair. “It was a dark winter’s day and the light was escaping us quickly. The pressure was huge to capture as many images as we needed in such a short window of natural light. It was freezing on the second day and the tiles we’d set up weren’t drying fast enough. Time was running out, and so was the light. Let’s just say it was on the stressful side! But I love how none of that is ever felt in the finished product. The room sets we designed and built in the Orangery present exactly what we’d set out to show – how by exploring old and new you can create something that pushes the boundaries and that experiments with the bold and the beautiful in a way that will never date.”
Aynhoe Park provided us with the ideal backdrop to show our eclectic side, and we really hope it gives you the confidence to do the same in your home.
Snippets from the shoot / Shoot takeaways / Shoot secrets / Secrets from the shoot
A quick-fire Q&A with the team on their...
Favourite product from the shoot?
The Aurum Fan tiles from the Metallic Vitreum range. They come in three different shapes and colours, but these are the ones I like the most because they remind me of the smooth scales of a beautiful fish that you’d see in a rare coral reef somewhere exotic. They’re made from glass and are filled with what looks like liquid gold so they pick up the light spectacularly and make your bathroom feel incredible.
Best photo of the day?
Even though I really love the metallics of the first shot shown, it’s the Chequers Court scene that I’m particularly pleased with. For me, it really shows just how well traditional pieces like the Battersea Basin suit more modern partners, such as the geometric tiles and the minimal Empire mirror. That’s what Fired Earth and this location are all about. All of the messages come together really well in this one shot.
Favourite part of one of the shots?
It’s got to be all of the metallic pieces working together in the gold bathroom. The scrap of natural November light that’s left is amplified beautifully because of the gleam from the gold Autum Fan tiles, the waves of copper from the freestanding Babylon bath and even the matte finish of the Haus Modernist tap’s doing its bit.
The trickiest moment of the photoshoot?
The light. We had no choice but to shoot it when we did, but chasing the light is forever a challenge for us photographers, and on those few shoot days, it felt like an impossible challenge at times, but we got there.