FK chats to Erin who creates edgy and unique statement pieces with her label, Zin + Bert! Catch these handmade concrete creations at our Melbourne AW14 Market this July.
Tell us a bit about Zin Bert and what products we can expect to discover?
Zin + Bert create unique homewares and art pieces that are both edgy and street inspired. Zin + Bert homewares are created for an audience who crave practical yet unique pieces of art which ooze street edge to give them a feeling which they may not have experienced before, or would like to portray in their living areas.
Zin and Bert’s items are not gender or age specific. They come with their own stories and will appeal to whoever wants to acknowledge their beauty. All items are practical and can be easily incorporated into your home, café or workspace. The current collection includes concrete bowls, concrete vases, concrete planters and concrete candle holders.
What inspired you to start your own label?
I was working in the design / corporate industry for three years and I found myself spending more and more of my down time working with my hands and working with raw materials such as concrete or designing new objects which were influenced by my surroundings. The personal satisfaction I gained from this was huge and I realised I could wake up and not fee like a ‘zombie’ every day, I felt I could influence others with my designs and my passion… so I took a BIG gamble threw in my corporate job in and can say right now I have not looked back. Thus, in my garage – aka ‘studio’ Zin + Bert was formed.
How has your creative style developed over time? What inspires your work?
Artistic ability or flair runs in our family and so it was ingrained in us quite young to express our feelings and use our hands to create instead of becoming self destructive. Back then my influences were very street orientated such as graffiti, stencil art and tattooing. When you are not given barriers and advised to rein ‘free’ sometimes it can be hard to nut out a creative style, so when I finished school I felt it was only natural to go into Graphic Design as this gave me creative structure and guidance which I thought I was craving. My influences haven’t really changed since then however my creative style is refining more as I grow as I’m learning to hold back and allow the natural elements to shine.
What is your workspace like? What is your creative process?
My workspace is messy! My studio is based at home in our garage. The garage is located at the back of the house and used to be my grandpa’s old work shed so it has a strong spiritual connection. The garage has huge windows which overlook the backyard and bring in a lot of morning and afternoon sun which is fantastic.
All the testing of designs, producing the moulds, setting the moulds, sanding and painting concrete orders is completed in the garage as it is such a messy process. Our study has now also been formed into a small studio area just to complete the paper work, packing the orders and internet side of things and when I need a little chill out time we live next to the beach so I just take a quick dip.
What do you love about working with concrete? And what are some of the challenges?
I love how concrete has been used to form the world we live in. When working with concrete you start with such a raw form it can be amazing watching it become it’s own identity through sanding and polishing. I like working with the idea that concrete can change the feeling in a room with a perception that concrete is warm and emotive.
Some of the challenges with concrete is it can be less forgiving when using it than some other materials however when it is respected it can create a beautiful finish.
What can we expect to see from Zin Bert at the upcoming Melbourne Markets?
Everyone can expect lots of concrete! Zin + Bert will have new colour combinations for winter in the bowls, vases and planters range and of course there will be some concrete homeware surprises which is always fun.