I am Ryder Holmes Wilson, and I run Holmes Wilson Furniture, a family business started by Pamela Holmes and Brad Wilson in 1995. I make one of a kind GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete) furniture and art by hand, drawing on 28 years of knowledge and experience. I am located in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California. My work is inspired by the land around me, history, music, and many other influences. The Holmes Wilson oeuvre includes several thousand side, coffee, and dining tables, and sculptures and panels.
I take commissions and offer one kind, artistic concrete designs available as is. See the collections for an idea of work we’ve done in the past. I value my relationships with my clients and am always thrilled to hear from you, whether you are new or returning. Feel free to just say hi! I invite you to make an appointment to visit my studio for some tea or coffee and snacks to see the work in person. Or if you’re in the bay area, you can see some of our work in person at several stores.
While product weight varies, most of our side tables under 20″ are 40-50 pounds. One person can lift them without much trouble. We achieve this weight with 3/4″ thick walls, minimal water usage, and the use of Poraver, a recycled glass aggregate that replaces the much heavier sand. Larger works are much easier to move with a second person. All of our work except table tops are hollow.
In general, GFRC (glass fiber-reinforced concrete) furniture can last decades even with minimal care, though its life will become virtually indefinite with occasional maintenance and resealing once every decade or as needed. Like any material, weathering will take its toll, but we have work that has stood outside for decades with minimal wear. Concrete with GFRC components is much higher quality than typical foundation or structural concrete, primarily because much less water is used. More water means weaker concrete. While foundations often use water at up to a 60% ratio to of water to cement (0.6 pounds of water per 1 pound of cement), we use a ratio of 32%, which essentially doubles (if not more) the compressive strength of the concrete.
We can create a large variety of colors with different integral pigments. Numerous factors influence the color of cast concrete, from the variations in the color of bags of cement to the weather. Concrete naturally has a slightly mottled look, so even with the most precise controls, a paint swatch is going to look different than a table. That said, if you desire a specific color, we usually create several samples before creating a full work to ensure the color matches your vision as close as possible.
The works are sealed and generally won’t stain unless a corrosive liquid is left on the surface for several days. Coasters are not required. Greasy or highly acidic substances such as lemon juice should be cleaned quickly. Often stubborn stains will fade on their own, especially if exposed to sunlight. A regular application of carnauba or bees wax will offer some additional protection for stains.
Soap and water or light cleaners are sufficient. For textural areas use a lint-free towel.
If you like, you may wax your work with car or bees wax twice a year or as needed to give the work some sheen and extra protection. After several years, you may wish to reseal the work with concrete sealer. If you like the work darker, you can apply some linseed oil prior to sealing. Works kept outside might fade slightly from sun and rain over the years and should be waxed, oiled, or resealed more often than indoor pieces.
Named, one of a kind pieces up to dimensions of 20″ are shipped free. Shipping costs can vary widely depending on size of piece and location. We ship smaller works through FedEx (we love our local office!), while larger ones must be crated and freighted. We will arrange shipping.
We take cash, check, PayPal or Venmo. Typically we require a 50% deposit of total cost for creating custom work, while the remainder will be payed as soon as we have finished, but before shipping the pieces.
Unless noted, all works come with felt pads on the bottom to allow for easy and scratch free sliding. Pads can last for decades, even outdoors, but if needed new pads can be added with epoxy.
While concrete is very strong, sometimes an accident will happen a small piece, usually an edge, will chip out. If you have the chipped out piece, you may be able to glue it back into place with epoxy. Otherwise, we recommend mixing a small amount of grout cement of the appropriate color and applying it to the chip, attempting to match the edge. We may be able to assist you to color match. Let us know when you acquired your piece so we can best assist you. If the piece is pigmented, we may be able to tell you which pigment to use. Color matching a chip can be challenging, so we recommend doing some color tests before applying to the work. Cement lightens as it dries, so the color may be darker than the piece until a few days have passed.
Yes, send us your idea! Peruse our site for inspiration. We can do a variety of shapes, sizes, and finishes, including console or dining table tops up to rectangular 3′ x 6′, or 48″ round (1″ thick). Typical lead times are 4-6 weeks depending on complexity and scale.
We will consider reasonable trades. Pitch us.
Honestly, it varies greatly from work to work. Sometimes a work starts as a concept in our heads that we attempt to put into reality, but more often, we play and use randomness to create. Almost nothing ends up how we envisioned it from the start (usually it is much more interesting).
We have always been inspired by nature and place, but now we are much more focused on creating place-like works motivated by the local environment, including Salt Point and Fort Ross. These works become their own environments in our eyes.
Our creativity is enhanced ten-fold by our collaborative process. We both contribute ideas at every step, and the results are far greater than if only one of us had complete creative control.
We have worked with dozens of designers over the years, including Baker Interiors, Anthropologie, 505Design, Lair Design, Irvine Company, Wendy Owen, Maker & Moss, and more. We have work in several hotels, the Seattle Public Library, The Village at Corte Madera, Clark College, and many other places.
We draw on natural elements and our local environment to create a variety of fossil-like impressions and inform the creative direction of our work. Our goal for each work is not to just be inspired by place, but become place-like in its own right, as if we have created a whole new environment or world.
Concrete technology has come a long way in the last century, resulting in very strong, and stain and crack resistant material that can last several lifetimes. We use Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) techniques that create strong but lightweight concrete, and Poraver, a recycled glass product that further reduces the weight of the work. The concrete is typically about 3/4″ thick.
As a material, concrete has numerous benefits. It is incredibly durable, flame and pest-proof, and VOC-free. It can be repaired and refinished more easily than many other materials. While its weight and carbon footprint are drawbacks, by using a minimal amount of material with little industrial overhead, we hope to keep both of those cons to a minimum.
Every table is unique, so while you can request us to mimic another table we’ve made, we cannot guarantee its exact likeness. If a product arrives damaged, you can make a claim with the shipping company. We do not offer refunds for commissions.
“Taking over Holmes Wilson Tables has been an honor and incredibly exciting process. I perpetually continue to be enamored with concrete and its capacity to combine incredible delicacy with millennial persistence. I’m always asking myself: what will this work look like in a hundred years? What stories does it tell now, and what will it tell in the future? People and things that inspire me include Fernando Laposse, Hakujitu, Obsolete Inc, Cloudy Jongstra, JG Switzer, Anselm Kiefer, Pascal Baudur, roleplaying games and podcasts such as Campaign, and so much more. “
“Since the inception of Holmes Wilson Tables, I have incorporated my art into the business. Now, I am full time fine artist, painter, and sculptor and boundary-breaker as Ivy Stranger at Stranger Worth. Antiquity — the wondrous spectacle of aging — is a defining aspect of my art, and it has found itself into my tables as well. Many pieces appear aged, full of crackles, while the structural integrity of the concrete is not compromised. I’m always interested in working with those with adventurous spirits and collaborating with designers.”