We are so excited to be working with Daniela; a young and local artist and designer who really isn't afraid to try new ideas and push creative boundaries. Here we talk to her about how she uses industrial materials to create homeware and she shares advice on starting out.

Tell us about your creative process

Each concrete pot is individual, with different markings and voids. My molds are either pre formed or handmade using melamine wood or latex. The latex molds are needed for products that are more detailed such as the skull. The wooden molds are used for more basic shapes such as slabs, cubes and hexagons.

The possibilities are endless with concrete; it can take the form of many different shapes. Once the molds are filled with concrete they are left to set over 24 hours. Once set, the molds are removed and the concrete can be lightly sanded. In some cases the concrete needs to be sealed, either to enhance the colour or to give it a shiny/matte glaze. 

What inspired you to work with concrete and metal?

I have used these materials throughout art school. I have always been drawn to these materials because of their high compressive strength, sustainability and industrial aesthetics. The choice of materials used in my work are based on their durability and strength, to project the idea of stability and support. The reason I like to project this concept stems from my personal support structures around me, which provide the basis for progression, development and growth. 

Where do your ideas come from to develop new homeware products?

Continuous experimentation is the best way for me to develop new ideas. The best ideas usually come from trial and error. I am always drawn to minimal, bold design.I often like to push a material to its limits to discover its capabilities. Once I experimented with making concrete as thin as possible. I soon discovered this wasn’t possible without a support structure inside it. 

What's your favourite design from the collection at the moment?

The baby cubes are definitely my favourite. They are super cute and you don’t expect objects made from concrete to be this small.

Where do you see your business developing over the next year?

I hope to push my homeware into bigger pieces of furniture, such as tables, floor standing lights and bigger planters. I would also love to start making more abstract sculptural pieces, small accessible ‘artworks’ for the home. 

What advice would you give other young artists trying to start their own business now?

Find somewhere to work for free, even if it’s an old shed at the back of your parent’s garden. With that space, perfect what you do and never stop doing it. Then get as many people possible to see your work. Talk about it, share it on social media, and give it out to friends and family. Confidence in yourself and your products also helps a lot!

What's your favourite gift on the Cotton and Pearl website at the moment?

I have two, the Children’s Billie Badger felt booties are beautiful and transform your feet into little badgers, which is fun. I also really love the Glass Teapots, stunning to look at and I love tea!

- See more at: http://www.cottonandpearl.com/blog/concrete%20planters,%20sculptures%20and%20starting%20out%20as%20a%20young%20designer#sthash.BZfNDCrK.dpuf

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