“ While pouring water onto the body of the cement, the craftsmen will polish, and wash it back and forth with water sandpaper. After the surface becomes delicately smoother and the color more even, the washing stage is near completion. ”
Cement, known as binding material with a rough texture, is normally used in the realm of architecture since the Roman Times. In 2008, SEEDDESIGN came out with the first idea to utilize cement as a primary material in our lamps, creating an exceptionally exquisite and smooth surface yet maintaining the raw characteristics of it.
Without further ado, let’s explore the craftsmanship as well as the cement lamps we recommend in the SEED line-up.
Temperature is the key
In the beginning, the most difficult variable to overcome is Temperature Change. Cement is easily affected by temperature which results in cracks. This poses an added challenge for us given that lamps are inevitably electrical products that generate temperature. Our savvy R&D team tried a variety of formulas that have been thoroughly tested and refined to achieve the strength and toughness required, as well as efficient heat dissipation in the structural design. The end result is a beautiful Cement Lamp that is well suited for varying weather conditions from hot summers to cold winters.
Getting rid of bubbles
To ensure a fine cement surface, the craftsman will need to tediously vacuum the mixture cement grout via a special vacuum machine. This process is crucial in the prevention of bubbles as well as chipped corners on the edges of the lamp from forming.
0 — 100% LOADING
Into the mold
“Timing control is crucial, yet the process must be steady and slow.”
After the vacuum machine stops stirring, the concrete material begins to solidify. At this time, the master has to precisely control the timing and volume of the grout, keeping it slow, and focusing on every detail, while filling into the mold. Any tiny slip-up in this stage may result in unwanted imperfections such as cracks or holes.
50 % → 60 %
Demold, dry in the shade
“Wait and see, it’s time to uncover.”
Similar to the process in which a cake is baked, the timing of demolding must take place at around 50% – 60% solidification state. The slightest delay may result in an over-dried concrete that is prone to cracks.
When interviewing the Craftsman, we asked the master to slow down his process so we could capture the moment by a film, however, he vehemently objected. With experience and authority, he informed our crew “No, No, No! We cannot delay any longer, not even a few seconds.”
Pay attention to the timing and unmolding of each piece of cement carefully one by one.
Each piece is ever so gently washed by hand, one at a time. With care, the surface of every lampshade is wiped down and carefully patted dry. Each piece is left out to dry slowly in the shade.
When the cement has reached approximately 80% solidification, which feels both moderately soft and hard, the final washing step of the surface beautification process will be carried out. The expert craftsman holds the cement in hand, pouring water on it while washing the fixture back and forth with sandpaper. After the rough texture is gradually eroded, the cement becomes delicate, smooth, and even. At this stage, the production is almost complete.
80 % → 100 %
“The final step is dependent on the weather.”
With the Washing Phase complete, the next step is air-drying. In this stage, ideal humidity levels are the recipe for success. Previous steps were heavily reliant on the Master’s experience and expertise but this final and very important stage is weather dependent.
In 2008, SEEDDESIGN launched the first cement lamp in the world. Today, the use of cement has become a more common material in the lighting industry. Nevertheless, SEED is proud of our many loyal followers who are still fond of our cement fixtures, because they can still identify the subtle differences as well as enhancements a Seed fixture inhibits in comparison to other counterparts.
Before we close the interview, the last question we asked the Master Craftsman is, “Which step is the most vital in the production of the cement lamps?” It took him a while to contemplate, he paused for a few additional seconds keeping the suspense flowing, and finally he concludes “Umm…. all the steps matter.”
SEEDDESIGN Cement Lamps Recommendation
CASTLE PENDANT 2008
SEEDDESIGN’s cement lamps give life to an otherwise lack-luster material. The application of cement in the context of lighting preserves the natural textures and characters of this raw material yet has reintroduced this with a softer touch and exquisite appeal.
With the Mermaid we have merged contrasting yet complimentary elements, cement with metal, creating for an interesting appeal. The lustrous metal adds a visually bright element in space.