Maker Interview: Make & Matter

Chloe has 'been making things for as long as she can remember' and now works under the name Make & Matter creating super cool concrete pots and plantersConcrete has recently become a popular material for homeware products and Chloe puts her own spin on things by adding a bright palette of colour pigments into the concrete mix. 

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Who are you?
I’m Chloe, the designer and maker behind Make & Matter.

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What do you Make/Do?
I make hand cast homewares, including quite a few concrete plant pots.

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Do you have a background in craft and design - when did you first start making?
My mum is very creative and so I have been making things for as long as I can remember. In our house we always had lots of different craft materials and tools available and mum was always getting into different processes and making things, so it was very easy to get involved. When I was a little girl my favourite thing to do was to make lots of things for my dolls house and my dolls, which looking back now holds even more meaning to me now that I work as a product maker for real. A career as a maker was something I never really doubted so I chose to study 3D Design at university and I have been fortunate enough to have been designing and making since then.

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Can you describe your typical making process?
All of my products are currently made by casting in different materials and the process is pretty similar for all of them. Once I am ready to start making a new idea, I start creating what is known as the Master, which is the original piece which will be moulded and then multiples can be made from then on. How I go about making the master will depend on the size and shape of that I am making, but normally I model the piece in either wood or plaster. Once I have made as close to a perfect version of what I am after I will make a silicone mould of it. Once the mould has cured I can then remove the Master and start to make casts of my new piece which is a great feeling!

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What do you enjoy most about the process?
As an avid maker, I love being able to be hands on every step of the way, which is one of the main reasons I started Make & Matter. But apart from just generally loving to make things, what I have come to really enjoy and appreciate about the process is being able to constantly improve and refine it. As my business has grown and I have had to scale my production up, I have become more aware and in tune with what is working well and what isn’t and how things can be improved and made more efficient. I find making these constant adjustments and changes really satisfying at the moment because it makes such a huge difference to the overall workflow.

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Can you describe your studio/workspace?
Until now, for the last year and a half my studio has been a spare room in my house which can be best described as convenient!  To be able to work from home and not have the overhead of a hired studio while building up my business has been so great. My work can be quite messy so I am eternally thankful to my husband for how supportive and relaxed he has been about me taking over the house at times with all of my (organised) mess. My spare room studio has served me very well, but I am excited to say that I am about to move into a proper studio space which will be great. I am looking forward to getting set up in my new space and also being out the house and seeing other humans during the day!

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What keeps you going whilst you work - soundtrack? Snacks? A fluffy sidekick?
Cups of tea are an absolute must and are probably what keep me going above all else!

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What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?
This year I have a few new products lined up, some of which are larger versions of existing products. I’m also looking forward to experimenting a lot more with colour pigments in my products, which I started to do a bit last year.
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Three things you can’t live without:
A cup of tea first thing in the morning.
General quiet time.
The ability to make things and work with my hands.

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Three favourite places:
Home, it’s good to go places and do things, but generally I am really happy spending time at home, I don’t get restless or bored easily.
The top of a snow covered mountain. Snowboarding holidays with my husband are, in my mind, the most romantic and restorative of breaks.
Yemin Moshe, a beautiful, old, flower-filled neighbourhood in Jerusalem when we got married.

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Three favourite foods:
Mexican black beans and rice. This is our favourite meal at home, which we have topped with tomatoes, chopped mango, avocado and coriander (and cheese, but that’s optional, I forgo the cheese and have hummus instead because I am a maverick).
Hearts of Palm
Seaweed

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You can see Chloe's grey and coloured concrete planters here in the Homeware section.