The world is full of beauty. The colours of our earth are inspiration for designers and artists of all kinds. Just look up at the trees as you walk past them through the bush. See the pinks and yellows, silvers and browns, as they cascade down the trunk and into the branches, where they end in an array of greens and reds. Look at the soil as you dig in the garden and see the layers of colour, the mottled nature of the earth, the browns, reds, yellows and greys. Paint that is drawn from nature has an instinctive connection to our human evolution.
People have been digging colour out of the earth and using it on our skin and our shelters since the beginning of time, as far back as 60,000 years. Paint is one of the quickest and easiest ways to create impact in your home using colour, without too much cost or fuss. If you can do the work yourself, you will be able to change a room within a day.
Looking for paints that are non toxic will add to the health and happiness of your environment. I have painted many rooms over the years. One of my favourite paints is Bauwerk Colour – I have used it in the lounge, our bedroom and also when we had a little brick and mortar shop. I love the way it breathes and moves on the wall, its natural finish like the old walls of an Italian villa, and the fact that it has no toxic chemicals and is gentle on the earth. Bronwyn Riedel, founder of Bauwerk Colour lives a very interesting life, listing her location as “Australia, Middle East, Europe!”. Bauwerk Colour is a natural Lime Wash Paint, produced using 100 % green power, 98% natural materials in production, limestone, water, pigment and clay.
Open for 16 years, Brownyn Riedel creates colour. She’s the co-founder and creative colour director of Bauwerk, a company that makes beautiful limewash paint, crafted with pigments from nature and materials from the earth. Growing up among the valleys and hills of countryside Victoria, Bronwyn felt an instinctive connection to the colours and patterns in her natural environment. The raw, imperfect beauty of nature captured her imagination, and has stayed with her throughout her life.
In the early 80s, Bronwyn moved to the bohemian port town of Fremantle, Western Australia, where she channelled her love of colour into being an artist and textile designer. Specialising in long-run fabric for decorative furniture, she painted fabrics by hand, taught colour theory at the Fremantle Arts Centre, and sold her works throughout the globe. She also met her husband Andreas, a stonemason and building renovator from Germany. As they built a home and family together, they soon saw their talents were in perfect harmony.
Bauwerk was launched in 2000 after Bronwyn and Andreas sensed a need for sophisticated and environmentally conscious paint. Its natural textures and hues – chalky, moody, dusty and gritty – were unlike anything else on the Australian market, and it flourished fast. As Bauwerk swept from Australia through the Middle East, they collaborated with a Saudi Arabian partner to form Dry Mortar Company (DMC), a producer of mixed mortar designed to withstand the scorching Middle Eastern heat. DMC now runs three sustainable manufacturing plants, with the world’s largest natural lime paint factory in the works. In her roles with DMC and Bauwerk, Bronwyn brands, markets and develops colours, recently expanding its reach in Europe. Somewhat of a global nomad, Bronwyn divides her time between Australia, Germany, and Saudi Arabia. Every European summer she returns to her dream home in the South of Berlin, a huge old manor house and an endless source of inspiration.
In terms of sustainability, Brownyn says that she couldn’t be in a business that was not sustainable and that she started Bauwerk to firstly have the type of paint available that her and Andreas wanted to use.
“I believe it’s important to choose carefully the products you use in your house, and conventional paint is one the products which is very toxic to both human health and the greater environment in its process and production. Do what you believe in and don’t let yourself be bullied into decisions that don’t fit your beliefs”.
You can see the entire, beautiful Bauwerk range of paints, limewashes and more here