Branding DisasterKast

When I had the idea to start DisasterKast it was to remain the epitome of resourcefulness, found/reused waste objects made into visually strong interior wares, decor and useful products for the home, office or quite frankly wherever you choose to put them.

The logo is simply based on simple brutalist influences (growing up in Sheffield meant you were surrounded by them), but the approach is quite punk! (The lower case i is a slightly rebellious two fingered salute to the ‘can’t do that-ers’).. casting with little initial technical knowledge (hence the name DisasterKast) at the start and building a product which develops as each day passes. The decision was made to build a brand evolving over time that reflects the working approach… lo-fi yet sophisticated enough to create intrigue with a real hand-made cut ‘n paste feel.

Next up would be to start having some fun with our brand. We were given an old desktop monochrome photocopier by Mary at Tea with Alice and decided to manipulate the logo by moving it about as the copier scans. We made twenty different takes and made a cool gif which is a sneak peek of how the brand is going to visually progression, a real nod towards analogue, hands-on production and good old school creative experiments. See the GIF Below

Our next step is to create new add-ons for the brand from product tags (Below: which are made from the back of a fly-tipped set of drawers) to cardboard dispatch boxes, business cards and brochures, that make the powder grey starting product end up looking like a million dollars and convey our rather cool story of re-recycling other peoples trash into something worth having!


Disasters & Development

Over the past week, I have enjoyed cement based triumphs and gravity related hiccups on a growing scale. From dropping my new black concrete bowls x 2, through to snapping casts due to not letting things dry correctly. So this week sees the introduction of drying racks and a proper system for drying, casting, costing and general production (it’s for the best!)

For the purpose of marketing and a few gifts for friends, we’ve bought some silicone alphabet moulds and had some real fun making letters but had great frustration put on us by the gods of the letters U, C, G and Q which have inherent weaknesses within their natural design, hence they crack… GRRRRRRRR!

And finally, we’ve pulled 3 rather nice round bowls (2 medium and 1 large) and spent ages gilding the inside of the aforementioned which are looking sublime and give of the most warming glow you’ll ever see!

We’ve found new materials for casting in the form of interesting types of aggregates & cement, touched upon using oxides for colouring and drying agents for a more productive studio. We’ve bought dust masks and overalls as well as rapidly learning the hard way not to wear your new spectacles while casting or walk straight back into the house when you’ve finished (clue: footprints) But most of all it’s been a bloody good week!…

Happy Accidents

I use a fair few spray cans in my painting based artwork (see:, so while experimental concrete casting in my formative cement-based early days I used an empty aerosol can as an inner for the mould, not realising you’d need to use a fair bit of release aid (Petroleum Jelly, cooking spray etc) the result was an odd looking sculptural piece which I quite liked, I’ve even sold a few… Not sure what they would be used for even though they do look quite arty, maybe a paperweight, ornament, graffiti deterrent (due to weight), weapon or boat anchor.

These will be for sale soon as a Limited edition cast in the forthcoming store (keep an eye on the top menu).

Impatience is NOT a virtue

With concrete casting, it’s a constant developmental learning curve… This week I’m learning to stay well away from the concrete until it’s totally dry and develop a sense of patience or this happens (see image) and guess what it’s ultra infuriating but inevitably my fault.

In regards to moulds (molds if you’re from the US) I’m researching what would be the best release agent that doesn’t leave a residue on the concrete product once its released. I’ve heard all kinds of things

  • Petroleum Jelly
  • Silicone Spray
  • Cooking Spray

If you have any proven solutions, I REALLY would love to here from you!


Wabi Sabi: The acceptance of imperfection

More often than not people strive for perfection, while myself I try to enjoy imperfection in its many forms. When working with concrete and its unpredictable nature and the sometimes damaged moulds this is more present than you’d think, from dented bottle moulds to contaminants etc.

Disasterkast products replicate their previous lifeform which is more often than not a piece of found recyclable packaging.

In traditional Japanese aesthetics, Wabi-sabi (侘寂) is a worldview centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.

According to Leonard Korenwabi-sabi can be defined as “the most conspicuous and characteristic feature of traditional Japanese beauty and it occupies roughly the same position in the Japanese pantheon of aesthetic values as do the Greek ideals of beauty and perfection in the West. Whereas Andrew Juniper notes that “[i]f an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be wabi-sabi. For Richard Powell, “[w]abi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.” (source: wikipedia)

When moulding Disasterkast products, the mould can only be used once before cut off and re-recycled, making each piece one-of-a-kind!