GRES – the name of our brand is inspired in the clay with which we make bricks and other construction materials. In Spanish this clay is called “gres”. It speaks of our roots in architecture and the built environment as well as It evokes the spirit of our brand that seek to transform materials and techniques that come from our land and our traditions.
Our built environment has the ability to impact our lives in many powerful ways. Our aim is to incorporate thoughtful and soulful objects into your surroundings. Inspired by architecture, we create contemporary home goods, rooted in traditional techniques. We aim to breathe new life into the centuries old techniques of arts and crafts, while we have the pleasure of partnering with.
Every one of our product has a story that comes from the hands that held and crafted it with care. We partner with crafters and small workshops in Colombia where we work together achieving a careful manufacturing process such that the richness in the texture and shapes of our products shows the touch of these artists. We are commited to generating employment for small entrepreneurs and mothers head of house hold, we empower our people through the appreciation of their crafts and through fair and ethical trade.
Created in 2016 by architects Silvana Vergara and Catherine Jessurum, GRES is the organic result of playful experiments with handwoven fabrics. Driven by curiosity and through contact with many local artisans, we noticed a common thread plaguing Colombia´s rural communities: the interest in learning traditional crafts and techniques is vanishing; especially among the younger generations, in addition we noticed that a lack of resources prevented many artisans from acquiring the raw materials necessary to produce their products, which, in turn, are necessary as a means of subsistence. We started by playing around with threads, mixing colors and understanding patterns, we found the smallest object we could test on was a pillow, and that is how our first collection of pillows emerged. We went on to learning about other types of weaving techniques and understanding it’s aesthetics. Ever since we have been curious about learning more ways in which the wonderful world of textiles works, as well as improving in the craftsmanship of our collections. This endless desire to make new things has lead us to dive into the realms of chamba pottery and lighting design. Our love for interior design and architecture is part of the DNA of the brand, which is reflected in the shapes and geometry of our products. We are always looking to create objects with a soul, that tell a story, that will adjust to an interior and that will add richness, texture and enhance it.
Catherine Jessurum Co-founded GRES while working in Interior design together with Silvana. Based in Barranquilla, she currently runs an interior design division
Silvana Vergara Co-founded GRES before moving to NYC to persue her interior design MFA at Parsons School of Design.
She combines her passion for design, materials and techniques with her inquisitive curiosity to develop the GRES design concepts on display in every product and collection.