[huge_it_share]Smithers firmly believe this is very much the case with our strangely sophisticated
Concrete furniture collection. Who knew mortar could be sexy?! We assure you it very much is. We’re talking a whole new level of fifty shades of the grey stuff.
Concrete furniture. Cool. Clean. Charismatic?
It’s so easy to over complicate things in life but this simple collection laughs in the face of complicated.
When we dare to dabble with new trends – which happens a lot at Smithers, it’s always interesting to witness how it is received.
We had concrete down as a male dominant ‘marmite’ collection, but we couldn’t have been more wrong, and on this rare occasion, we were happy to be proved so!
Turns out concrete is completely unisex, not to mention hugely versatile and ridiculously rustic.
The Planter concrete coffee table has proved hugely popular over the summer months, and it’s easy to see why with its winning combination of green foliage filled ravine and sleek graphical lines.
The piece often reminds me of large city parks – Central, Hyde – a glorious green oasis buried deep in a concrete jungle that zooms with zen like qualities. Surely this is the perfect sentiment for any piece of garden furniture but the ironic part being we are totally contradicting that thought process by placing the cool concrete amongst the greenery. Clever, we like clever.
The Magazine Rack also seems to be a full proof purchase having made many appearances in numerous houses, old and new and a fair few businesses too. I recently asked a client who was purchasing said rack and in the process of renovating the loft space of a small factory building in Derbyshire, why she liked the Concrete Collection so much, to which she simply replied “I love the city and now I can bring its Urban style into my home.”
Is that it? Is that why our Concrete goods have proved so popular? City meets Cotswolds. A huge part of me is inclined to agree, but I also believe it’s because this is an opportunity to rebel, it’s just not the done thing.
Refer to cement and people immediately relate it to the great outdoors. Patios, tower blocks, building sites. Forget that. Bring it indoors! Plus, I’m a sucker for an ‘Ugly Duckling’ type scenario – if the rise of this common, raw and nondescript material to polished and understated cool products that scream Urban City chic isn’t the best version of this story, then I’ll eat my hat.
I’m equally drawn to the inspiration behind some of the pieces. The Nuke Planter pays homage to the iconic Cooling Towers of the Nuclear Power Stations that I recall driving by as a kid when making the never ending journey to some random day out up the A1.
Glued to my window, I’d watch the colossal puffs of grey smoke billow their way up to the even greyer skies.
The simplicity begins right at the very beginning of the process that brings this raw material to refined life.
Our Concrete Guru has been making the glorious grey liquid gold for over eight years and begins by mixing concrete, sand and water to form a mortar. Nothing unusual here. That is until fibre glass is added to the mix.
From there, the marvellous mortar is poured into a mould for setting, which can be anything from thirty minutes to several hours, depending on the piece in question.
The product is then removed from its tooling and placed in a humidity stable room for three weeks. Once the drying out stage is fully complete, all items are sealed with invisible water and coat of clear oil repellant. Hardly brain surgery, but once this simple process is done, the steps towards creating a masterpiece can finally begin.
Within reason – were not quite at Hoover Dam standard yet, but as long as we can mould it, it’s achievable.
Naturally different mortars will provide different finishes but we believe touch is equally important. We are a nation of feelers if you’ll pardon the turn of phrase.
True though, and the gropers amongst us won’t be disappointed with the hands on experience provided by the cement products.
Huge care is taken in offering the perfect texture. For example, the concrete bar stool – sides are left purposefully rough for distinction, yet the seat is uber-smooth and the polished finish is the cherry, on the icing, on the cake!
When alls said and done, the bottomline is its just cool. And different. And neat. Who doesn’t love neat? Even the rebels are neat freaks, deep down. But mostly, it’s super cool, and if liking Concrete makes me cool, well that’s just fine with me.