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We spent one cold winter's day in the Peckham Studio of From the Land, filming the processes behind one of their hanging planters.
The hanging planter consists of three elements; a concrete pot, a wooden ring and a length of rope.
We then discussed everything concrete, the importance of handmade and what's next for them.
Read the full transcript below.
How did Conpot start out?
A- Conpot started when we wanted planters for our own home and we couldn’t find quite what we wanted.
Do you have a creative ethos?
K+A- I think for us the key words we keep coming back to are craftsmanship, quality, focus on materials and provenance.
Do you make everything yourselves?
K- Yes we do, I think for us it’s really important that, every single planter that is out there, has been handmade by either Alistair or myself.
That must be a time consuming process…
K- It takes about a week; start to finish, to make a batch of planters. We don’t really believe that could be replicated by machines.
A- It is almost reassuring for us that we don’t think our products could be made on an industrial scale.
K- The process of making them is very hands on. We often use tools in fairly unorthodox ways. We are totally changing the ways these tools are used and what their function is, which for us is quite exciting.
Why did you decide on using concrete?
K- One of the aims with Conpot is to challenge people’s preconceptions of concrete. People think of it as being this solid, matte, almost dull material, and we are really trying to highlight the beauty in it.
A- Eventually we started thinking more about what concrete is as a material and began to use interesting stone and polishing them and these got noticed by a couple of shops.
How important is the provenance of the materials you source?
K- We really love the idea that our planters and the concrete that we make them from are a geological representation of the UK.
A- Whilst we only use British stone, except for the white marble in our planters, we want to continue exploring the materials of Britain. For our hanging planters we have sourced oak and ash from the UK, which has a completely different character to the oak that is grown in Europe, which is farmed on a much larger scale whilst the oak in the UK are lone trees growing in the middle of fields which get this beautiful textured character to it.
What other materials are you experimenting with?
K- We feel like we really understand concrete as a material; its limitations and its possibilities. Moving forward we are starting to explore new materials; whether that is the wood that we combine with the concrete for our hanging planters, or working solely with wood and other materials like paper cord.
Do you see yourselves branching out from home wares/ small-scale products?
A- Although we have been making home wares in the past alongside our planters, we are now starting to think more of a furniture scale. So we have just launched our new Tenon side table and moving on from there we are exploring more surface design as well as other large-scale objects.
What’s next for you?
A- Whilst we will continue making planters we want to expand into new directions and take advantage of our skills. With Kezia’s background in textiles and mine in architecture we can look more into furniture design, interiors and anything that really fits within our disciplines. We are trying to combine both these skills in our own studio, From The Land.