The art of relaxation

Sound responsive, interactive light sculptures, inspired by nature to enhance wellbeing and relaxation…not something you come across every day.

But thanks to Jesmonite, Futuretro (pronounced Future-retro) has been able to upscale and provide these throughout the UK and beyond.

Inspired by his grandfather, a master furniture maker, artist sculptor Jamie Barrett first began making his products by shaping and joining wood, which took a lot of time and effort.

Traditional wood working to Jesmonite

Now Jesmonite has propelled his business and allowed him to upscale in ways he hadn’t imagined.

“My grandfather had incredible machines and tools which I inherited when he died, along with the coaching and tuition I’d had from a young age,” he said.

“I used traditional methods using hard wood and that is my main love but it takes hundreds of hours to make one section of the piece and I wanted to be able to make one piece repeatable and in an accessible price bracket for customers.

“Jesmonite does that – it has transformed my business.

Sustainable and repeatable

“It is sustainable and repeatable, and the finish helps it replicate organic stone, as a lot of the work is inspired by ancient architecture, so the authentic finish is a huge bonus.

“It is actually a better surface than wood to complement the light elements, wood doesn’t allow the projection of light in its most intense manner.”

Jamie also likes Jesmonite for the fact you are not working in messy conditions with nasty chemicals, fumes and smells, not wearing PPE and not having a large impact on the environment – unlike other resins.

“Jesmonite is easy to use, it is nice to mix and the way it cures and hardens miraculously in no time, it just blew me away,” he added.

Satisfying and thrilling

“I create the original pattern out of wood then a mould from that to pour Jesmonite into – it is a massive joy every time I make a piece, it is like unwrapping the ultimate Christmas present and just so satisfying, the reveal is just so thrilling.

“I can also use my woodwork tools on Jesmonite to refine or shape it. Most of my machinery and tools are perfect for it.”

Jamie, who is based in Farnham, Surrey, England, first discovered Jesmonite when working as a production manager at top contemporary sculpting company London Bronze Casting in 2018.His fully customisable products include geometric wall sculptures and illuminating tables with concealed sound responsive lights which can convert music into a synchronised audio-visual display.

It sees low pitch sounds reflected in red and as the sound increases through scale, so does the colour through orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

All controlled via an app using smart technology.

Therapeutic benefits

Jamie’s individually handcrafted work has been displayed in New Delhi, India, Osaka and Tokyo in Japan and clubs and bars around London. It is also used in homes, care homes and offices as well as in sensory rooms for people with learning difficulties.

But it is about more than light, sound and sculptures.

He said: “Patterns found in nature are known to have a calming effect and these pieces are designed to help you to relax, thereby improving your wellbeing.

“The therapeutic benefits of my work are important. I have completed a psychological research project which shows we are attracted to fractals like leaves on a tree or seashells and how, by incorporating these patterns in my work, it has a positive impact on people’s wellbeing.

“Futuretro brings together futuristic technologies with traditional methods of construction and craftsmanship, symbolising an equilibrium between the future and the past, creating harmony in the here and now.”

For more information on Futuretro visit the website or follow them on Instagram.