The Omega workshop was a design enterprise that was founded by the Bloomsbury Group in 1913. It was introduced to give artistic expression to the values of the Bloomsbury Group, to provide a showcase for artists and to provide them with the means to make a living.
Roger Fry was the main man who thought that not only could artists design their own work but they could also produce and sell. This was rather like the ethos of the Hogarth Press venture that embraced the idea that writers could not only write but could print and publish their own work.
The workshops encompassed public showrooms and studios where artists could display their work and customers could view and buy. The modernist emphasis was on abstract patterns, bright colours and bold simplified forms. Designs were a form of rebellion against the drabness of mass production and were often met with hostility from the public who did not quite favour modern art.
The Omega workshops designed and produced furniture, textiles, accessories, murals, mosaics, stained glass, tableware, pottery, linens, fabrics, and expanded in to dressmaking and interior design. Products were expensive and exclusive and were featured in the Ideal Home exhibitions of the time.
Customers would range from those who bought a small item to those who had something custom made to those who requested the design and decoration of entire interiors. There was no other shop in London quite like it. However, it had a short life and closed after about six years when it ran in to financial difficulties and suffered with internal conflicts which led to a clearance sale and closure.
It did however, establish interior design as an accepted branch of art and secured the Omega designs in the history of design.
Designers and artists who were involved in Omega were never allowed to sign their name on a piece of their work. Works had to be displayed anonymously to ensure that they were bought on merit rather than on the reputation of the artist.
All pieces were marked with the Omega sign instead.