Who doesn't love a beautiful statement furniture with an intrepid history to share? When it comes to the term 'conversation piece', design enthusiasts love a good backstory on the journey and passion that goes into the process of how a piece of furniture came to be. With upcycling and re-purposing being a trend driver for the industry and sustainability en vogue like never before, if you add in travel expeditions and exotic materials from far-flung destinations, the conversation piece is the symbol of a great tale of adventure.
Recently launched, in October 2019, Wood Culutre DXB is one such outfit that adds that element of adventure to their customised pieces. While they started their journey by creating upcycled furniture using scrap wood like pine and spruce, they slowly transferred their production skills towards more exotic lumber from around the world, which attracted a more bespoke clientele.
Travel is an integral part of the Wood Culture DNA and has enabled the team to collaborate with artisans in the Far East and South America, as well as ethically source rare materials to produce unique pieces. From underwater logging to tree deformities, the salvaged wood parts become original-piece home furnishings.
Jacob George, the CEO and founder of Wood Culture DXB, has been travelling the world looking for rare slabs of wood to create one-off pieces for Dubai residents. He shares with us some of his travel tales in search of unique interiors inspiration.
“Coming from a family of timber merchants, with more than 50 years’ experience, I moved to Romania in 2010 and started procuring lumber for the family business. It was here my interest evolved into using wood in its raw form to create beautiful pieces of furniture. This is where I discovered Mappa Burl, which is a bi-product from Black Poplar trees. The process actually starts from a deformity in trees caused by a fungal infection, but this creates the most unique grains and knots, which we use to create our Mappa Burl tables. Once we extract the burl, we transport the product back to Dubai and often customise with clear ecopoxy resin to look like a river. Wood Culture is the only company to specialise in Epoxy Resin Tables and we can customise the resin colours and mix with one-of-a-kind wood slabs creating authentic tables for your home.”
“To develop my passion for woodwork, I took a six-month immersive course in northern England. The bespoke furniture piece that stemmed from this experience is the wonderful combination of plywood and wood vaneer (native to the Lake District), which creates stunning mid-century side tables. All handmade with very little use of machinery, these pieces are one-of-a-kind.”
“About a year ago, we were scouting around Central America searching for rare trees cleared away during the construction of the Panama Canal. These wooden slabs had been lying underwater for more than 100 years, which has resulted in their basic composition being altered due to all the nutrients absorbed from the water. After a long and arduous process involving divers and underwater equipment, we salvaged 20 wooden slabs and shipped them to Dubai where we converted them into live edge slabs, perfect for dining tables and side tables.”
“Indonesia’s dense woodlands is full of treasure. I have been travelling to Indonesia for many years for their unique petrified wood. It is a fossil that is formed when plant material is buried by sediment and protected from decay due to oxygen and organisms, petrified wood is then mixed with groundwater rich in dissolved solids, which flow through the sediment, replacing the original plant material with silica, calcite, pyrite, or another inorganic material such as opal. The result is a fossil of the original woody material that often exhibits preserved details of the bark, wood, and cellular structures. We use these striking wood slabs to create customised tables full of gorgeous zigzags and natural beauty.”
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