My time in California working with Concrete Collaborative has come to an end and I have been back in Edinburgh for a few weeks now, re-adjusting to studio life and reflecting on the residency. To catch up on this project you can read previous blog posts - Upcoming Residency with Concrete Collaborative! and Concrete Collaborative Residency - Part One.
The latter part of my residency was spent in the warehouse where smaller-scale production such as creating custom terrazzo designs for clients took place. This was a slower-paced environment which allowed me to see the details of the full process – from preparing moulds right through to the beautifully polished finish. I worked alongside one of Concrete Collaborative’s most experienced artisans, Carlos who would often work from a folder bursting at the seams with handwritten recipes. I assisted him throughout the whole process – mixing, pouring, grinding, polishing and sealing - after a few days of observing he let me get stuck in with the process myself. He taught me how to use the machinery to achieve different finishes and passed on little pearls of wisdom he had picked up over his time working with concrete.
During my free time, I explored the surrounding areas - the sleepy surfer towns which dotted the coast down to the busier city streets of San Diego and I also spend a weekend in colourful San Francisco. I loved the texture and warm tones of the desert landscape found on the coastal hikes and the bright houses which lined the hilly streets.
I returned home with sketchbooks full of notes from the factory alongside drawings and colourings to inspire new palettes and shapes. Since I have returned, I have been reflecting and looking back on my ideas and I have begun to experiment with forms and processes to see what new work I can develop from the experience. I am enjoying this explorative period and I am excited to see what comes from it all!
Grinding & polishing area.
Concrete terrazzo sinks in so many beautiful colours!