Third-generation concrete craftsman Ryan Spotowski is back at the Royal Bison! His company, Ryspot Design, is focused on creating limited production home goods using non-traditional materials. Catch him at the Bison both weekends, follow Ryan on Instagram (@ryspot) or Twitter (@rypsot) to see more of his work, and read on to discover what inspires the conversational home decor he creates.
Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Ryspot Design: To create conversation. We have become isolated and members of echo chambers; design can change that by providing approachable objects that inspire conversation. Objects can be totems that tell stories, our experiences, and desires. We don’t touch enough of what is real. I want to inspire that connection and get people excited.
RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
RD: New terrazzo based pieces. My family has been working with terrazzo for over 60 years and I’ve always been a fan. Terrazzo is more luxurious than concrete, but still has a natural look. I’ve been exploring new ways of processing my materials and playing with textures.
RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
RD: Edmonton probably has the most designers who work with concrete in the world, including Concrete Cat and Beton Brut (even though she’s in Saskatchewan now). I think my niche falls in the ability to process concrete and similar materials once it’s cured; to refine the material into something completely different. I’m also exploring resin and waste materials.
RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
RD: Edmonton has a strong community of designers and people who are passionate about creating. People get really excited when you tell them you’re creating things; there’s a desire to collaborate and build. It’s less of a gallery-type city. People want to talk to you about design, they want to be a part of changing the city.
RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
RD: On the local scene, I’m really impressed with Sam Knopp and Stranger Design, but my wife will probably lock me out of the house if I buy another mug. Over the past couple years, it’s been really exciting to get to meet other creatives and learn their stories, it’s really hard to select only a couple people when so many have become friends.
RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
RD: I’ve only been married a couple years, so I’m still building new traditions with my wife.