Every project has its own source of inspiration; the difference is that in some cases it’s difficult to define whilst in others it’s much more obvious, like in this case for example.
A few months ago I was lucky enough to meet and work alongside an artisan cabinet maker; nowadays it’s hard to find the classic workshop where one person works the wood alone by hand.[+]
Every project has its own source of inspiration; the difference is that in some cases it’s difficult to define whilst in others it’s much more obvious, like in this case for example. A few months ago I was lucky enough to meet and work alongside an artisan cabinet maker; nowadays it’s hard to find the classic workshop where one person works the wood alone by hand. The role of cabinet maker first emerged during the Renaissance when furniture - which up until then had simple regular lines - started to follow the principles of the new style and began to incorporate wooden sculptures and inlaid veneer panels. In order to create these artefacts, the carpenter had to become a cabinet maker; or rather the craftsman became an artist.
I was amazed by his stories, how following the requests of his clients, he planned his furniture or better, his works of art. He imagined them first and then drew them freehand in pencil, on a scale of 1:1 on large pieces of white paper which he then hung on the walls and from there started making them completely by hand, copying them to create works of art not pieces of furniture.
One day, being curious, I got him to tell me a bit of detail about his work and what fascinated me most was a detail included in some of the projects which - on request from the client - he studied and inserted in all the furniture: the so called “secrets”.
They were small devices, studied ad hoc for each piece of furniture, created to store small precious items like jewellery or a safe place to hide money: a secret drawer, a hidden compartment, a sliding panel or
a double shelf which he designed and created one by one in great detail including the hinges and mechanisms.
I was entranced by his explanations and by this aspect of his work and I remember telling him that I wanted to apply his fascinating secrets to a piece of modern furniture. A few months later, that opportunity arose.
Wood-e was born from the idea of returning to the use of wood, showcasing this material’s natural characteristics and uniqueness. Each piece had to be unique, tailor made by hand by a carpenter, just like in the cabinet making workshops of old, and why not? It was the perfect opportunity to recreate the old concept of “secret” with a modern twist. I thought about recovering some storage compartments out of the thickness of the solid wood panel made entirely from wood and to close them with supermirror steel doors, finished using a laser technique, consciously creating a contrast with the hand worked wood which every client can decide to include as they wish in order to make each piece into something exclusive and unique just as was done in the past.