The Endless Inspiration of Salt Point

The Endless Inspiration of Salt Point

  The rocky coast of Salt Point is our favorite place in the world, a constant font of inspiration. The constant madness of the ocean has eroded the rocks into variegated, alien shape. Every time we go there, we see different creatures and patterns and tables and stories in the rocks. This place obviously inspired San Franciscans many decades ago, when they began cutting stones for the roads of the great city. While we would never want to carve away the beauty, we wouldn’t mind being able to mimic some of textures. But is one thing to see something amazing, […]

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A Rough Beginning Created Our Ethic

Pamela has always been a bit proud that she flunked her concrete class at Pasadena City college but still managed to make a long-lived concrete business. Theoretical slumps, tensile and compression load calculations: concrete can be quite mathematical and difficult. Important for an engineer building a house, of course, but you only need so many equations for an end table. Turns out education isn’t everything, and a first failure doesn’t mean that’s the wrong direction. Despite flunking, Pamela continued to experiment with concrete, gradually developing her skills, trying many different materials, especially natural materials like hemp, roots, sawdust, rice hulls, and of course leaves. […]

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Choosing a Concrete Leaf

  We’ve experimented with more than a hundred different plants and other organic materials, everything from dandelion weeds to giant rhubarb leaves to bark and lichen. Unfortunately, many of these experiments don’t succeed as well as we would like. This is because it takes a specific thickness and texture to really make a good impression in concrete. Too thin, and the detail won’t get picked up, too thick, and the detail will be lost when filled.     Many leaves are too leathery, like oak leaves, which don’t conform to the mold and tend to leave poor impressions. Some are […]

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An Offer to those Devastated by the North Bay Fires

An Offer to those Devastated by the North Bay Fires

As Sonoma County residents, the North Bay firestorms of October were terrifying and horrifying. So many lost everything. We would like to offer up to five people who lost homes and especially loved ones a free 12″ Pliny or 12″ Square side table of a style of your choosing. We can do impressions of names as tokens of memory. Please only respond to this if you lost a home from one of the fires in Sonoma or Napa counties. We will give away up to five tables this way. Some proof of your loss is preferred.

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A New Look: Dots and Lines

A New Look: Dots and Lines

As much as we love leaves and natural elements, it’s fun to experiment with new looks, too. Dots and lines, simple concepts but with lots of possibilities, are a new muse. Irregular lines can reminisce of marble or height maps or erosion. Dots less easily map on to the natural world, but when unevenly patterned, they still look organic and emotive, like a procession of amoebas. Mixing lines and dots randomly further disrupts any obvious patterns, like a meaningless braille.

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Our Favorite Happy Accidents

Our Favorite Happy Accidents

Most creativity is accidental, if not all of it. The artist often sits before their canvas with a plan, only to discover things come out much differently than they expected. Musicians can find themselves bored with their playing until they make a mistake, hit the wrong note, and suddenly everything is fresh, and they can find a whole new direction for the song. Of course, some mistakes are more interesting than others. Hitting the wrong note is usually more interesting than flubbing entirely and tripping over your guitar cord. A table that cracks in half after a month is not the kind […]

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15 Reasons Why Concrete Furniture is Awesome

15 Reasons Why Concrete Furniture is Awesome

When people hear “concrete furniture,” they often think it’s going to be extremely heavy, ugly stuff only fit to sit in parks and bus stops. But most people are now realizing modern concrete furniture can be just as elegant, nearly as light, and far more durable than other furniture materials. But do you know every reason why concrete is a great material for furniture? Here’s fifteen of them, starting with its incredible functionality and then its versatile aesthetics. Functionality 1. Concrete lasts a long time, potentially thousands of years, as Roman concrete structures have. Concrete can hold hundreds of pounds, resists scratches and […]

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Memory Benches & Other Wordy Options

Memory Benches & Other Wordy Options

We now offer memory benches or other impressions of words on any of our pieces. They work particularly well on square or rectangular pieces like our Skye bench, Square End Tables, or Sophie chairs, though words may flow across the curved contours of our Pliny tables as well. The letters can be filled or unfilled and of any content, such as names, poetry, dates, and so on. Letters may have slight positional variations.

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The Inspiration of Messiness

The Inspiration of Messiness

As smooth as our tables come out, working with concrete (or any furniture) means some messiness, even with even the cleanest and greenest of methods. Fortunately, messiness can be inspirational at the right moments, and not so different than art. Sunsets and season changes transform a mess in different ways, as in the first two photos below, which are similar spots photographed at different times. Stained plastic, pallets caked with concrete, and invading ferns all make for beautiful catastrophes. Move aside leaves, there’s a new inspiration in town. Naturally, one might think making a mess means we aren’t green or don’t care about the environment. But consider that being […]

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Concrete Agave Leaves

Concrete Agave Leaves

Recently an old Agave plant began to flower at The Gardener, who we’ve worked with for almost twenty years. Like many plants, Agave dies when it flowers, so we have begun to preserve the leaves as concrete forms before they rot away. We’ll cast various stages of decomposition as the Agave completely dies away, letting it survive, in a way, for potentially hundreds of years. You can see these concrete agave leaves at The Gardener location in Healdsburg in Sonoma County. These concrete leaves can be used as bird baths, fruit baskets, or placed in gardens or installed on walls […]

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Some Common Questions for Pamela Holmes

How long have you been making concrete furniture? I started experimenting with plasters and concrete after I got out of graduate school in art. I took a class at the Pasadena City College on concrete, which I flunked. I found it too technical, but I still kept on playing with concrete artistically. I’ve been playing with concrete since 1984 and I started Holmes Wilson Tables about ten years later in 1995. I became interested in furniture after my experiences with catering, when I found that the tables I displayed food on were dull and lifeless.   What motivated you to […]

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How to Order a Holmes Wilson Table

1. Peruse the website for what you want or send us an email if you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for. See our work in stores like The Gardener and McGuire Furniture. Think about sizes, concrete colors, leaves, leaf fill color, or other pattern designs. 2. Either fill out the contact forms on a product page or email us directly. Please let us know where you intend the pieces to be shipped, and whether this is a commercial or residential location, because this may affect shipping costs. 3. We will review the order and discuss finishes, colors, pricing, and shipping […]

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