Jana and Marek Bilko work wonders with concrete and create very special designs. In our interview with the founders of Creer, we talked about how they bring concrete goods and accessories to life.
Interview by Ummuhan Kazanc
Dear Jana and Marek Bilko, can we hear from you the story of Créer, which was founded in 2016? How did you decide to produce concrete accessories and even furniture?
We have made our first products based on our own needs and our passion for design. CRÉER is reflection of our desire for originality and useful quality.
First CRÉER product was sink, which had to replace existing overused sink in utility room of family house. Our goal was to make it robust and highly durable. Since then years have passed and natural heavy concrete with visible surface finish from epoxy has evolved into ultra solid concrete mixture with durable surface finish with natural look. Apart from that, our first sink still serves its purpose.
At the start we came with basic series of washbasins and concrete accesories, which we first introduced on Meat Design Ostrava 2016. Here we introduced our freestanding concrete bathtub which is first of its kind produced in Czech Republic.
What does concrete mean to you?
Concrete has always posed a challenge to us. Raw, heavy, solid as well as delicate, pleasing to the eye and light. We have spent a lot of time exploring concrete and now, we can offer you truly beautiful top-quality products, exactly for your life.
Over the six years of the existence of the company, we have understood that giving a specific form to concrete products is something to which you must fully commit.
Concrete is a very special material and it has been in our lives since Roman times. Does the concrete mixture you use has a special secret or do you use a traditional mixture?
In all our products, we use ultra-high strength lightweight concrete developed to increase the life time and improve the compression and tension strength. This innovation far exceeds the performance of the traditional types of concrete, dramatically extends the life time and improves durability. The final appearance of each product depends on numerous factors. The different pore structure and color shading caused by maturing of concrete make all products more appealing. The correct mix, mold filling and maturing process guarantee that each product is a true original.
Your concrete accessories are really stylish. It can be used with many different decoration styles. How accessory designs are prepared? For example Bird Muti, although it is made of concrete, it looks very romantic.
While designing our products we are trying to show that concrete doesn’t have to be just heavy, crude and boring building material. Some of its prosperities encourages us to use it in other areas. That’s why we are trying to get concrete to other areas where it hasn’t been used before.
What can you say about your bathroom series? What is advantage of using concrete wash basin or bathtub in bathrooms?
The bathroom is not only a place for routine hygiene, but also for relaxation. You perceive it with all your senses, including your eyes. Concrete washbasins or bathtubs can make a normal bathroom an extraordinary space, making each bath an experience. The natural character of concrete adds to the atmosphere of each bathroom more than you can imagine.
Top-class finishing of the surface resists all standard chemicals used in a household, essential oils and bath salts. The material is lightweight concrete with enhanced thermal accumulation properties, keeping the water warm for a long time.
What are your customers' favorite products and what makes special these products?
The most favorite products among our customers are washbasins, accessories and atypical products which are made to measure for every client. Apart from material, which advantages we mentioned above, are CRÉER products exceptional due to its quality manual processing and maximal feeling for detail.
I love your bowls. They look very elegant. What can you say about these products? Are they food-safe?
We equally like small objects, which is why we have developed a range of home accessories made of concrete to add elegance and freshness to your interior through their shape purity and unconventional look. Concrete is natural material and impregnation that we use, is suitable for food contact. It is scratch-resistant and easy to wash in the sink.
Your products are handmade. Production process must be very important. What can you say about production and finishing process?
The form comes before the product, which we can create exactly as our client wish. Although processing options are not unlimited, we will do our best to find a solution for our customers.
Cooperation with customer looks like this. 3D models or drawing is made, and then mold can be made. After the concrete is poured and solid, the process isn’t done. Concrete products must mature and then we can polish it and apply surface finish. Then it can be sent to its new owner. Those products go through long process to get to our customer.