About Our Furniture
Designed and made by hand in Woodstock, Cape Town, this is furniture with a story. Many modern objects exist only in the present, with no past and no future. No thought is given to where the materials that make up these objects will begin and end their lifespans. We are interested in the whole picture; where the material came from, how you intend to use it, and how it will be re-used after its current purpose. Each step along the lifespan of a piece is considered, from tree to table and beyond.
The Basic Principles we follow are:
Made by hand
Minimal use of machinery and other industrial processes.
Made from local alien timber
No imported or local indigenous species, and no ply or other wood composites.
Made to dis-assemble
Each piece is designed to be easily re-claimed, which means no glues and no nails.
About Our Process
Making everything by hand can sometimes be slow, imperfect and limiting and yet there is a growing global move away from mass-production. As our lives become digitised in many areas, it seems we’re looking for more tangible and tactile objects in others to compensate. We believe there is beauty to be found in the marks made by hands, chisel strokes and file marks, and in the imperfect. Not every designer is a maker, we believe in the importance of a seamless process from concept to construction.
The ethic of design for dis-assembly, or ‘cradle to cradle’ design, means the materials which make up our pieces are able to live through constant cycles of use and adaptation, without down-cycling or effectively meeting their end. Think of it as a round-about, rather than a cul-de-sac. We believe in this ethic enough to say that if a piece outlives its utility, rather than throwing it away, you can bring it back to us and we’ll buy it back, at the value of the raw materials. With a little creative thinking, and no shortage of hard work, that material will leave our workshop in a new form, for a new owner. This creates the closed loop we’re aiming for, of use and re-use.
About Our Materials
Our wood sources are limited to local ‘alien’ timber species. Originating in foreign climates, they grow in ways not suited to the local environment. We purposely avoid all imported and local indigenous varieties. It’s not to say that both can’t be done right, it’s just that they often aren’t. In a similar way, we avoid all composite timbers such as plywood or OSB. In almost all cases, they come from far away and use harmful chemicals in their manufacturing, which can leach into the air.
This attitude to materials means we try to start off as raw as possible, using leather and mild steel when necessary, both bent and worked by hand.
A BA in Fine Art and Architecture has given me an appreciation for the sculptural and the structural qualities in objects, as well as the importance of the functional and the frivolous. An MSc in Environmental Design then fostered an ongoing interest in materials, how and where they are made, and how to adopt a ‘life-cycle’ view.
The principles I use in my furniture design are taken directly from my experiences in ‘Green’ Architecture, but using them on a smaller scale (benches rather than buildings). Designing and making everything myself allows me to take complete control of the process and compromise nothing in ethical and environmental considerations.