The Clayworks website is one of the most exciting I’ve visited for a while – mainly because I’m interested in luxury hotels, contemporary finishes and – as a designer – I’m always impressed by those operating at the very top of their game. The client list of Clayworks is like a ‘who’s who’ and ‘what’s what’ of cool hotels, bars, restaurants and fashion retailers around the world; essentially, if you haven’t had your walls done with a Clayworks product then you may as well not open for business. Joking apart, this wall-finishing company based in Cornwall, England, works with the leading global retail and hospitality brands such as Aesop, Gaucho and Nike, as well as the elite of architectural and design firms around the world.

Founded in 2002, Clayworks began life as a natural building company specialising in traditional cob building, with natural finishes on the inside and out. In 2004, the founders began to research and develop a clay plaster that could be available to anybody, anywhere in the world, and the ready-mixed, dried plasters were launched in 2010. As international designers and architects lean more and more towards a focus on health and wellbeing, the use of natural materials to instil a feeling of calm and serenity is on the increase; here we talk about creating a contemporary and balancing ambience through the use of Clayworks products:

The Aesop store in Chelsea, London (above) is generally considered to be one of the most beautiful and Instagram-able of all of London retail units due to it’s exquisite architectural lines and natural wall finishes provided by Clayworks…”

NS: “Your website is full of the most phenomenal interior images from around the world where your Clayworks products have been used to fantastic effect – I’m super-impressed and so happy I happened to come across you! What is the breadth of range when it comes to your finishes, and who is it that mainly uses them?”

CW: “We manufacture a very wide range of 100% natural clay plasters for interior finishes – ranging from silky smooth, with a polished plaster effect, through to deeply rustic and carved; the company specialises in creating unique colours and textures for architects, designers and brands all over the world. We also work with discerning homeowners and home renovators who are turning to using clay; the plasters can be used as an alternative to gypsum, lime or other speciality plasters and they’re naturally pigmented, meaning there’s no requirement for paint. The mission of Clayworks is to drive forward the current desire for sustainable, healthy, contemporary wall finishes by making them contemporary, beautiful and accessible…”

NS: “What are the current trends, in terms of colour and texture… is clay now considered to be a ‘luxury’ holistic wall finish?”

CW: “Luxury is now all about wellness, health and eco-consciousness… therefore, luxury can no longer be standardised in building design – neither can it easily be purchased ‘off-the-shelf‘. Natural materials, such as 100% natural clay plasters, make every place special, unique and multi-sensorial. When Clayworks collaborates with designers looking for a custom wall finish, we no longer get briefs that say ‘we want a luxury material’ or ‘a finish for a luxury home’; instead, a brief will be the ideas and thoughts around health, sustainability and aesthetic visions in order to stand out from the crowd. Combined, these are now three of the vital ingredients for spaces and projects when the aim is to create a luxurious ambience…“

For homes and hotels there’s a trend towards serenity, comfort, warm minimalism; for hospitality it’s about uniqueness, health and cultural sensitivity…”

NS: “What are the significant developments in clay wall coverings?”

CW: “Clayworks has a dedicated team researching and developing ever more ambitious colours and textures for interior walls and ceilings, using only natural materials. Clay plasters are capable of ever more fantastical finishes – such as our Oro De Cacao as used here in Zurich (below, right), and we’re also pushing the boundaries of clay by creating finishes that can be carved for heritage and culturally sensitive buildings…”

Clayworks plasters have recently been used in The Connaught (above, left), the Daylesford Organic Farm Shop, the Mondrian Hotels in London, The Stratford (click image below), Buckle Street Studios, The Peninsula in Greenwich and there are several other projects currently underway in Scandinavia, USA, UAE and Kuwait…”

CW: “Clayworks has just supplied a range of clay plasters for the spectacular Museum of the Future in Dubai, notably the A Waha ‘Sanctuary of the Senses’. Our plasters were recently used in the new luxury boutique By Malene Birger in Copenhagen, Oro de Cacao in Zurich and there are dozens of large, high end overseas projects currently underway…”


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