Furniture made out of concrete? We had to know more so we stopped Cameron Clement of LOVJH mid-mix to give us the low-down dirty on his Concrete-Timber-Design business...
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Cam, Carpenter by trade and an aspiring furniture designer, concrete enthusiast and just an all round lover of good design.
What sort of furniture do you make?
Anything and everything! We started off small, making a range of concrete homewares and small goods and have recently been working on a few different side table and coffee table designs, desks and tables, stools, kitchen and laundry benchtops, as well as a few custom concrete sink projects at the moment. Got a couple of bigger things in the pipeline which I cannot wait to get stuck into either.
When did you start?
It is something that has developed over the last 5 years. I have always had a passion for working with my hands, but I guess it really ignited after doing a furniture elective at Uni as part of my bachelor of design degree. From that point on I really enjoyed being able to design something and then get stuck in and make it with my hands.
I ended up following the path further and completing a carpentry apprenticeship and working in the commercial building industry, with the furniture aspect being my little side project.
The concrete side of it is only relatively recent, within the past year or so. I kind of stumbled across the artisan concrete industry, and I am super excited to really delve into it.
Do you make everything yourself by hand?
Yes everything is made by hand, with the exception of a few steel frames. I am not the best on a welder, but that’s my next goal, to master that. I make all the moulds by hand, hand pour or spray the concrete and then process and seal it. Working with the concrete is such a hands on process with so many differing steps, and the whole process is so rewarding, when you strip the pieces out of their moulds and uncover what you have created.
I enlist my partner to help out on the big jobs. She weighs out all the components of the concrete mix and helps out on spray days. It can be a real struggle on your own, working against the clock and concrete that’s going off, so it’s awesome to always have her support.
What is so good about concrete furniture?
It’s just so timeless. It has a great aesthetic and its something a little different. You can get some really intricate shapes and designs, from something that can be considered so harsh. It just looks sick, and man is it good to touch! I don’t think many things can beat the look of a natural grey piece of polished concrete contrasted with a nice piece of oak. Well that’s my opinion anyway!
What is the best brand of concrete to use?
There is a guy in Sydney who distributes all the different ingredients that make up the concrete mix. He's a legend! He knows so much about the artisan concrete industry and always helps with any questions or problems I have.
Can I have some concrete furniture?
Of course! Everyone can have some. There is plenty to go around.
Is this the opportunity to give my business a good ol’ plug? There is seriously no limitations to what you can form and make with concrete, I love working with it and cannot wait to share our work with more people. Particularly Novacastrians!
Where can people see examples of your work?
We have the table in the Hubro we did, and we have a few large pieces in a cool shop in Maitland called twig and moss, other than that it's all custom made by request. Elements of our small homewares range can be bought at the Newcastle art gallery on Laman Street, and at roses gallery and gifts in the mall.
Can people find you at markets at all?
We usually do a market every second month or so, usually the olive tree, and we have done two impossible markets. We have stepped back from the market scene of late to invest more time in developing our furniture range, but hoping to do one in the next few months. Any request for furniture or bench-tops or the like is through email. We have a workshop in Bennetts green, that I'm more than happy to show people through to see examples of our work etc.