Meet Karla Tull-Esterbrook, a third-year Industrial Design student at Emily Carr University of Art & Design in Vancouver. She is a budding industrial designer and in-house design resident at Solus Decor.
Her love of concrete inspired her to contact Solus. “I wanted to see how I could learn more about concrete and mold design. I liked the Solus product and I even liked the building. I thought maybe I could talk to someone or take a tour of the company,” Karla explained.
Her keenness got the attention of Solus president Brad Carpenter, who was impressed enough to invite her to use Solus facilities to create a product. He also connected her with resident mold specialist Tanya Salas, one of the founding members of Solus Decor. “I am grateful for all the time that Tanya has spent with me here, and her guidance.” Karla was able to shadow Tanya and learn the ropes enough to feel confident to embark upon, and create her own extra curricular product, from design to completion.
Karla’s inspiration came from mid-century living room chairs with a twist. She wanted to take this look outdoors and keep it outdoors by using the weather resistant combination of white maple for the backrest and base, and Solus concrete for the seat.
After making the forms and molds and helping to pour the concrete, Karla faced her biggest challenge: how to connect the wood and concrete media securely. “I’ve learned to slow down the process”, she said. “Things sometimes take longer than expected. I tell myself that other people do this everyday and that I can figure it out as well”.
Karla takes great satisfaction of being able to make something by hand and feels that the end customer will get the sense of care that goes into making products this way. Karla says her future lies somewhere as an entrepreneur in the furniture design field.
As Karla completes her Outdoor Living Room Chair design, Solus wishes her well at both Emily Carr and in her future endeavors. Who knows, you might even see more of her products here as well!