Thirty years ago, we exhibited at the KunstRAI. The admission committee debated long and hard over whether or not our furniture should be displayed at an art fair. At the time, alongside the scrap wood cabinets and other series of products, we also made unique objects such as the tile and pilar cabinets and the door cabinets. The latter were also actually later displayed in a solo exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.
For me, the challenge was to design and produce affordable products. The fashion which then emerged among designers of making exclusive objects that were very expensive, under the motto ‘there is only one of them so it’s really expensive’, therefore completely passed us by. We just worked really hard to put beautiful, affordable products on the market. By the way, production in the Netherlands is always costly, so our most affordable collection, the so-called ‘crisis collection’, is still quite expensive. This crisis collection was, unsurprisingly, developed during a crisis, that of 2001, and luckily becomes more successful with each new crisis we face.
Always working on the cutting edge means that we are always getting better at what we do. We have introduced more and more products and we are becoming increasingly international, which has brought us, through trial and error, to where we are today.
But the market is unrelenting and in recent years there has been an increasing demand for unique objects. The last door cabinets from the early ‘90s have been sold and our most expensive objects, that were actually still conceptual, turned out to be very successful. And despite the high prices, the products in which we poured endless love and attention (that was actually the concept) sold well. For us, unique means not only an endless amount of attention but also often materials with limited availability.
The 45-degree-from-an-old-oak-slab furniture is an example of such love and attention, and is limited by the material. The batch of old oak slabs come from an old barn. Around ten years ago, the new owner of the barn wanted to do something with the space and wanted to get rid of all the wood that had been lying there for who knows how long. The oak is discoloured, stony, cracked and is almost impossible to work with. We used it to make the old oak tile cabinets, several 45-degree coffee tables, some other objects and now also two 45-degree desks. The scars of the steel that was cut from the trunk before the tree was sliced are visible in the sheets. One of the tables still has a plank attached that was nailed there to stop it splitting. We have done very little to the wood itself. Just by sawing at an angle of 45-degrees, gluing and reinforcing, we have been able to make the desks. It’s all about the wood. This design was the reason for writing this piece, which includes all ‘extremely exclusive’ objects we have in the showroom.
Table no. 1
Table no. 2
Welded cabinet no. 4
Waste waste NYC liqueur cabinet
Old oak tile dresser
Old oak tile cabinet
Old window frame cabinet
Beam bench no.5
Ceramic 40×40 coffeetable
40 x 40 cube series