Who we are...
Doug Watson, Director
In 1976 Doug Watson set up his tile studio with the aim to produce hand painted tiles of the highest quality based on traditional techniques. With a degree in Art History and training in all techniques of painting and print-making, Doug was in a good position to adapt these skills to the varied demands of making tile designs and tile panels for whatever situations that may be required by a client.
Born in England, Doug had always intended on being a painter and chose to go to University in the USA, where he could combine the academic study of Art History with practical courses in painting and printing. Following this, Doug’s sister, a formally trained ceramicist, taught him a range of techniques and they began working together developing and refining new techniques, largely based on historical references. Based in his Oxfordshire studio, Doug began designing and painting tiles specially to order, demonstrating an impressive range of styles, from neo-classical and medieval through romantic to naïve.
Doug’s painting is characterised by its vitality and by a powerful sense of colour. As an artist he is also notable for his sheer versatility; he is willing to work from almost any point of reference. Over the years, Doug has worked on a large collection of mural designs, using references as diverse as a museum window to a plate from a Victorian children’s book. But these are in no sense ‘standard’ works, instead they are a starting point for the client’s specification, designed and painted to order, often to fit a specific area.
Beside running the tile studio, Doug works as an abstract painter.
Janet Watson, Director
Janet, Doug’s wife, was originally trained in textiles. She left a successful career as an art teacher to join the company full-time in 2003, and has been a Director here ever since. Janet has managerial responsibility, including training staff, client liaison, developing glaze and experimenting to create new and bespoke colours. With her interest in plants, gardens and landscape she has designed and painted many individual tiles and panels in these subject areas.
Neil Farmer, Artist
Neil became a part of the DWS team in 2013, and has an intricate knowledge of every aspect of the business; from his accomplished artwork (especially panels), right down to the practicalities of installation, bringing with him his skills as a master tiler.
Kat Busby, Creative Production
Kat joined DWS in 2015, applying her creative skills to the production of the tiles, and the application of glaze. No one cuts a crisper tile than Kat, and she and Janet glaze the majority of the tiles we send to our clients.
Kat is an extremely accomplished animal portrait artist, using coloured pencils to create artwork for clients not only in the UK, but internationally. Her ultra realism creations are mostly commissions but she still enjoys creating art for pleasure. You can view her work here.