Concrete may be what your home is made of, but what about adding the material to your interior décor? Jewelry designer Karen Konzuk has branched out to create a series of extraordinary objects that form a distinct impression in any living space. Her Orbis range of vessels and candles sees Karen re-imagine the creative possibilities of concrete and, at the same time, confirms her position as one of the few designers to demonstrate a mastery of the natural material. Read our Q&A with Karen below, and enter to win a natural concrete candle of your own! —Noa Nichol
Hi Karen! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start.
I graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, earning a BFA with a major in jewelry design and a minor in art history. Shortly after graduation, I introduced the KONZUK line. My collections reflect my keen interest in industrial design and architecture. Through a studied use of clean lines and an unwavering commitment to a minimalist aesthetic, I have evolved KONZUK into an internationally renowned modern line of jewelry for the contemporary man and woman.
KONZUK began as a concrete jewelry maker and has recently transitioned to concrete household objects—was it a natural switch for you, and will you still be making and selling wearable items?
I have always wanted to create product design as well as jewelry design. It was a natural transition to move to household objects, especially the Orbis series as it stemmed from failed castings while creating the jewelry pieces. I will definitely continue to create and sell wearable items. I love the challenge of creating new designs that require me to think of new ways to mix and wear concrete.
What types of concrete objects are offered through your new Household collection?
Currently, we sell the Orbis candles and vessels, which are multi-purpose. The candle, when burned out, becomes a beautiful design object, vessel or planter.
How is it, working with concrete (a material we connect with roads and sidewalks) to create delicate pieces?
Concrete in itself is a brutal material to work with (pardon the pun). It is delicate yet strong depending on the mix ratio and materials used. To create such a fine edge we had to create the perfect mix with small enough aggregate to keep the strength and allow us to work the edges so thin. I love how it is almost a contradiction in itself such a delicate edge.
What do you draw your design inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from architecture and sculpture mainly. Recently, while researching new designs for the Household collection, I find myself getting excited to be able to work on a larger scale and create more sculptural objects which was my original love before I was introduced to jewelry design. My favourite designers/artists are Richard Serra, Donald Judd and Tadao Ando.
Win! A $128 KONZUK Natural Concrete Three-Wick Candle!
We have a winner! Congratulations Sarah S. of Mississauga, Ontario, who will receive a $128 KONZUK Natural Concrete Three-Wick Candle!