Lucia Di Landro is the founder and maker behind the colourful brand, Pigment&Razzo. In this weeks Sunday Maker's Session we invite you to find out more about her making processes, and the way she uses Jesmonite to create her playful, handmade coasters.
Firstly we would love to discuss the name for your brand, Pigment&Razzo, it has such a playful feel to it and it suits your colourful branding so well too! Could you let us know how you came up with it?
When I first started making coasters everyone kept on asking me what they were made out of and how the shapes and colours were formed. I think I used the words 'Pigment' and 'Terrazzo' close to 100 times that they became engraved in my mind. I shortened Terrazzo to Razzo and that's where the idea came from really!
What drew you to using Jesmonite as a material?
I noticed Jesmonite being featured more in furniture magazines and it was described as 'breaking the mould in home design'. It's such a versatile material and can take on so many different forms. The idea that the same material can be made to look like concrete, porcelain or even metal is fascinating to me.
The pigments/ colours you use for your coasters often seem to reflect wonderful experiences or moments in time. What were your inspirations for the colour choices for the Terrazo, Stella and Cielo coasters?
The Terrazzo colours come from the mosaics found in a town called Vietri on the Amalfi Coast. The town is known for it's polychrome ceramics and I try and replicate the feelings of warmth and summer in the coasters. More recently, I am placing the terrazzo pieces closer together and grouping the colours so that it looks like a horizon.
The Stella colours come from the idea of a sparkling night sky filled with stars and planets. The Cielo coasters are inspired by a 'perfect' summer's day, barely a cloud in a sky and if there is a cloud it's a wisp and will quickly pass.
I guess a lot of my inspiration comes from the fantasy of being in Italy in the summer, surrounded by beautiful imagery and warm weather!
Could you explain the steps and processes behind creating a coaster from start to finish using Jesmonite?
When making a terrazzo coaster, I start by making the terrazzo chips. To do this, I carefully measure out some Jesmonite powder and mix it with pigment to get the colour I want. Colour matching is the hardest part! I then spread the mixture out onto a plastic sheet to dry. Once the mixture has dried, I break it up into pieces and these are the terrazzo chips.
Depending on whether I want an artistic look or a 'random' look to the coaster, I will either purposefully place the terrazzo chips on the face of a mould in a pattern I like and then pour mixed Jesmonite over it, or I will mix the chips in with the Jesmonite mixture and then pour it into the mould. If I am making big batches of coasters, I will need to use a drill attachment to mix the Jesmonite so that it's not lumpy.
It takes about twenty minutes for the mixture to set and then I can demould the coasters. Then it's time to sand them down. This is the worst part of the process but also the most rewarding. It's really important to wet sand the coasters otherwise the material will get scratched. Sanding can take anywhere between 5 minutes to 20 minutes per coaster! Once you see the terrazzo pieces shine through it is all worth it.
I then seal the coasters with a matt sealant and leave them to dry.
5) We know you've been working on some new product ideas, and we'd love to hear a little bit more about any current pieces you're working on!
I am slightly obsessed with the idea of making a vase out of Jesmonite. I have only succeeded once and I did it by creating my own mould using acetate and then rolling the Jesmonite round and round the acetate until it set. I am planning on making another one of these soon.
Most recently, I made a lampshade using two plastic bottles. Unfortunately, I broke it when I was getting it out of the mould. I am definitely going to try again though and will patch this broken one up with some coloured Jesmonite to give it a 'Kintsugi' feel.
I am also going to start making bigger Cielo coasters and little succulent pots which I am very excited about. I love plants and have a ridiculous amount of Cacti so it will be nice to have some pots to put them in!
Each month a percentage of your profits, and of ours go to a charity of your choice, can you tell us about the charity you're currently donating to, and why you've chosen them?
Thank you so much for adding on a percentage, it really helps with the donations!
This month I am donating to Women's Aid. They are a charity at the forefront of shaping and coordinating responses to domestic abuse. I've chosen them because during these 'strange' times women are at risk of abuse more than ever.
In a report done by Women's Aid:
'Over 90% (91%) of respondents currently experien
cing domestic abuse said the Covid-19 pandemic had negatively impact ed in at least one way. Of those women living with their abuser during lockdown, 61% said the abuse had worsened. More than two-thirds (68%) said they felt they had no one to turn to during lockdown.'
I think it's really important that there are resources and support for women in those situations especially as we are heading into a time of more restrictions as the cases of Coronavirus increase and Women's aid are a charity that can offer that support.
Finally, out of all of your designs do you have a favourite one yourself?
My favourite design at the moment is the Cielo design in blue but I change my mind all the time and I really like the ground coffee coasters that I make as they are so simple but so textured.
Take a look and Lucia's handmade coasters here!