A few interesting facts about Jesmonite
Did you know Jesmonite was used by prop makers in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”?
Yes! Jesmonite has become so popular over the last few years, prop makers have realized it would be the best material to create props, and if you pay attention, you can spot a few in the movie… Who would have thought?
Let’s start from the beginning….
We were drawn to Jesmonite as a material because of the endless colour and pattern combinations you can achieve, just by mixing the many colour pigments.
- For us it was love at first sight – and I confess we’re still on Cloud number 9!
We didn’t know much about Jesmonite or terrazzo, but we were fascinated by the pictures filling our Instagram feed from the get-go. So much, that we quickly invested in our first starter kit, and begun experimenting.
At the same time, we were making sure we were asking ourselves all the right questions, considering our core value is sustainability, and the desire was to build a sustainable brand, start to finish.
With this in mind, the nature and behaviour of whatever material we were to use to create, had to be eco-friendly – or no deal!
So, we started our quest for information: specs sheets, web, testimonials, studies, you name it!
And here are our findings:
- Jesmonite is a composite material, made from Gypsum, a natural mineral. It is typically sourced from sedimentary rock. Its chemical composition includes water, it’s a safe non-solvent alternative to solvent-based products such as polyester resin or fiberglass and can be recycled in the same way as glass-reinforced plaster or broken down into little pieces or re-used in new creations – which is what we do!
- It has excellent strength and durability, with high impact resistance (yes, I’ve involuntarily tested it a few times… phew!) Gypsum is highly durable and needs very little maintenance. If used properly, it can last for decades even in high-demand settings. This is one reason why Jesmonite is known for its longevity and is also naturally resistant to fire, which is a property it gives to Jesmonite.
- It easily replicates the very finest-grain surface detail – A lesson learned from the first time we tried to DIY our molds! (Word of advice: don’t make molds from wooden pieces… 😅)
- It is solvent-free with no VOCs (volatile organic compounds, also known as harmful chemicals), meaning it is safe for the planet, and you!
- Jesmonite can be easily pigmented to any colour. I can tell you that one never gets tired of mixing and playing with the infinite colour options, and this is indeed my favourite part of the process!
Still, on the right pigments to use, my personal recommendation is to use only Jesmonite pigments – There are so many beautiful colours you can create! I’ve seen some other brands in the market stating they’re ‘Jesmonite compatible’, but having tried quite a few, I feel is not the same, especially after the piece is fully cured… One can really see the difference at that stage.
- The finished piece is extremely light! It’s lighter than stone, sand, and cement products. – Unless you’re buying our bookends… Those weigh 1.4kg a piece! 😂)
- Jesmonite it’s trendy! Did you know Jesmonite was recently named the material of the year at the London Design Fair? - This is due to Jesmonite adaptability and how easy it is to combine with other materials. It’s easy to manipulate, it’s malleable and incredible for casting!
- It can be used both in interior and exterior environments if sealed properly, so don’t be afraid to leave your plant pots outside!
So, all around, Jesmonite is a wonderful material to use. Its composition, mineral and water-based make it environmentally friendly, so much more than cements or resins.
Its high durability contributes to creating timeless pieces and is just so much fun to work with!
I love the serendipitous aspect of Jesmonite, never knowing the result until de-molding each piece… It’s so exciting and surprising, I can't get enough 😉