I’ve been trying my best to keep a selection of sketch books for each area that I’d like to explore, mainly ceramics, furniture and architecture. This means printing off inspiration, sticking it in, and using the space alongside to draw different elements that might be helpful in the future. I’m hoping this working method will inspire my own work, particularly in the woodworking field, as I’m not used to the joins and different woods used (also what they’re best suited for). So it gives me a good chance to set some goals. This website is great for showcasing my influences, but when you’re off screen and making in the workshop you often forget about the online world and need something physical in your hand to draw from.
Through this exploration I’ve really gained a massive amount of respect for any maker producing wooden objects. It’s only once you start to partake in the work you realise the limitations and true skill of a craftsman. To be honest, there’s not much leeway with this sort of work, take off too much material and you have to start all over again. These pieces that I’m highlighting today are by American-born designer Aaron Poritz, who specialises in responsibly sourced hardwood furniture. One of the main attractions for me was the overall aesthetic, the thin clean lines are very appealing on the eye and make the designs stand out. This can have structural implications on the design itself, so they require a lot of testing, making sure it covers all bases. In particular strength, comfort, efficiency and quality, I think Aaron has ticked these boxes and more. Not only is the furniture beautiful, the project also has an interesting story behind it (as with all good ventures).
While Aaron was traveling in Nicaragua, he connected with a wood mill sourcing woods from the North Atlantic Autonomous Region on the Caribbean coast, where, in 2007, a hurricane knocked down thousands of hardwood trees. He saw this as an excellent opportunity to use rare, sustainable hardwoods, so he set about designing a furniture collection that was made entirely of both hurricane-felled trees and sustainably harvested trees from coffee and teak plantations. After three months of designing and building he had created his first collection, his series has now evolved to include other works that he thought would be functional and easy to use. It doesn’t surprise me that Poritz has trained and worked as an architect, this subject has given him a unique sense of structure and form. I hope you enjoy these photos and check out the other pictures on his website, there’s some nice pieces that use classic joinery techniques paired with contemporary design.