“The joy of discipline and the discipline of joy.” That was the phrase rolling around Laura Cornman’s head when she started her business SETTLEWELL.
It was after working in various creative disciplines from crocheting hats to painting self-portraits, that she decided she wanted to give herself the space to reimagine what she would ultimately channel her creativity into. SETTLEWELL is about choosing NOT to settle.
“To settle well is to be a settler in my home, in my work, and in my life. To hold the dream more loosely and openly, and look with creativity at the present reality, taking what I have and doing my absolute best with it”.
Her company SETTLEWELL does just that, a one-woman workshop located in Long Beach CA, Laura sculpts all her concrete vessels by hand. Each vessel is cast-concrete and poured into her handmade molds. This Holiday season, we’re so excited to team up with her to launch our own KAYU signature candle.
Where and how are the vessels made and why is ethical production to important to you?
All of my pieces are made by me in my studio in Long Beach California. Each of the pieces are Cast-Concrete and are poured into my own handmade molds. I make all of my molds from hand-carved positives. As an artist, designer, and maker I really value the fact that every part of the process from conception to production is completely handmade. To me, the whole process is part of the same idea that leads me to start SETTLEWELL in the first place.
As far back as I can remember I was always deeply inspired by the stories of settlers and pioneers. Families that headed west and started from scratch. Brave men and women who picked a space to settle and used whatever was available to make tools, build homes, and create the life they wanted rather than expecting it to be waiting for them when they got there. They knew it would be hard, but they also held the hope that it would be worth it. That “from scratch” mentality has been the guiding force behind all of my creative endeavors and SETTLEWELL is no exception.
What’s new for SETTLEWELL, what else should we know?
I’m constantly working on new ideas so I actually have a lot of unreleased products. I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about and working on some plant stand and plant hanger ideas although I’m not sure when I’ll be ready to release those. I can say that I’m working on a limited run, limited edition Christmas Candle that I’ll be releasing at West Coast Craft in San Francisco in November.
Do you have any style secrets?
Keep it simple. My personal style and home style are one and the same. I like to keep both palettes as simple as possible. When you stick with one basic tonal or color range you can let your creativity shine by drawing visual focus to a few very thoughtful and intentionally selected unique items. At home I like to keep my space visually minimal and uncluttered with whites and light grays so that my indoor plants can act as thoughtful, artful accents in each room. With my personal style, I use the same principal, wearing mostly black, gray or white to give simple visual weight to accessories like bags, jewelry or the occasional shirt or sweater in a simple color like blush, blue or green.
What are some of your fall style tips?
I’m a huge fan of dark grays and light grays for fall. As the days grow shorter and the weather cools, I love the vibrant and uplifting contrast of a strong dark gray against a clean white, for me, it’s a mood-enhancing play on the shadow and light of seasonal change. When I’m feeling a bit more like nesting and embracing the cozy side of fall I lean a bit more towards light grays and whites. For personal style, you’ll likely find me in my all time favorite Madewell Black Skinny Jeans and a denim shirt or grey sweater. When it comes to fall home style, I always look forward to bringing out my favorite chunky knit white throw blankets, burning candles in the late afternoon when the sun starts to fade, and my favorite sign of the season – a simple Boxwood Wreath for the front door.