Why Concrete is Replacing Clay and Glassware Across the Globe

The world of making things is changing.

Concrete is rapidly taking over the globe as it becomes more and more desirable in different applications. In this blog I’m going to explore why I think Concrete is the next big thing in human-made goods. And a lot of it has to do with efficiency!

Traditionally, homewares have been made from a few basic materials. Clay, Glass, Leather, Wood, Stone, Ivory… We only had so many materials available to us. Of these materials, Clay became the most accessible and most versatile substance to make most homegoods out of. Think items like mugs, plates, bowls, planters, pottery, vases, etc…

Clay is still a wonderful material that can boast beautiful textures and colors! However, working with clay has some major limitations...

Both Concrete and Clay are great materials for making all sorts of household items. From cups to blocks, bricks, wall tiles, breezeblocks, hardware, pots, hangers, incense trays, ashtrays, pottery and the list goes on! The finished piece of pottery may serve the same function, but the way we arrive at the finish piece is very different!

Producing Clay objects has many challenges. To work with clay and make useful things with it, a lot of specialized equipment is needed. As you may know, Clay objects need to be fired in a Kiln in order to become hard and useful. A Kiln is a specialized oven meant to heat-work clay objects. Another barrier to entry is the need for 240V Power. Almost all kilns have LARGE power demands. Your typical 110V outlet ( If you live in the USA!) will not work to power a kiln. A special 240V power source must be installed by a professional electrician. This comes at the cost of significant time and money. There are SOME small kilns that run on normal house power, 110V, but these are usually so small you can only fire a mug or two at a time inside. Not worth investing in, and not meant for production.

On the other hand, Concrete objects do NOT require a kiln to harden! Concrete does NOT require any additional outside heat or energy to harden! All you need to do to harden concrete is add WATER, and WAIT. Concrete is a mixture of binders and fillers that is solidified when water reacts with the components in the concrete. This reaction happens naturally and without any other interaction. Depending what type of concrete you are using, this takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 day to get a fully hardened piece.

Follow along in this infographic to see some more factors that make Making With Concrete so fun, easy and economical!