WORDS Amelia Brown PHOTO Marijke Willemse
Three innovative entrepreneurs and their team are shifting preconceptions and evolving what’s possible with concrete. Meet Wolkberg Casting Studio.
After three years of R&D, the team behind Wolkberg Casting Studio launched Limesite at 100% Design South Africa 2017 – a scratch- and stain-resistant concrete composite that can be used for furniture, lighting and cladding.
Since then, this industrial design and manufacturing business has seen rapid growth. This is in part due to the Limesite product, but also to the all-rounders who make up the team: industrial designers Reando Potgieter and Graeme Bramley, and interior decorator Ramielle de Jager, who has experience in product innovation.
Their combined skills and strong mould-making abilities have enabled them to provide their clients with bespoke collaborations.
One of their latest offerings is a range of tiles inspired by South African heritage and forms in nature. The tiles’ development was a natural progression from countertops and surfaces as the team continued to explore the possibilities of Limesite. “When we saw the depth in the first cast we made, we couldn’t believe our eyes – it was like looking at an aerial photograph of the south pole from space,” says Reando. “Blending colour in concrete and playing with particle packing have become a bit of an obsession that drives us to make all sorts of products.”
The studio’s products are currently made using between 16 and 60% recycled material that would ordinarily have ended up as air pollutants. “Making these materials reactive inside our concrete cleans up the air one tonne of stone at a time,” says Graeme.