WORDS Lindi Brownell Meiring IMAGES Justin Patrick VIDEO Robert Wisniewski
“Natural history and natural curiosities have always been part of my inspiration, where my studio displays a variety of interesting objects, shapes and curiosities,” says renowned local designer Laurie Wiid van Heerden.
Wiid Design’s collection of timber tortoiseshells, hand carved by carver Dumisani Chiota of the Wild Design team, was directly inspired by Laurie’s love of tortoises and their gentle nature. “Ever since I was young I have had a fascination with tortoises,” he says. “I am also intrigued by their symmetrical geometric armour in combination with the variety of colours and shapes of their shells.”
The shells, available in a variety of sizes in hard maple, walnut, teak and zebrano, are carved from solid laminated timber blocks. “Seeing as I love tortoises and want to protect the species and not exploit them in any way, I decided to mimic some of my favourite tortoiseshells in solid hand-carved timber.”
Laurie is also behind the design of the Meraki Daybed. “The initial concepts derived from extensive research and drawings based on various shapes and forms,” says Laurie. “This resulted in my decision to focus on African furniture in combination with more modern geometric shapes.”
The Wiid Design team made use of traditional techniques in combination with CNC technology to create this contemporary furniture piece in American soft maple and 100% recycled cork. “The decision to combine two natural materials such as cork and maple is an example of how we combined two very different but also similar materials to create something new and original,” he says.
The Meraki range will be expanding in 2018 to include two occasional chairs.
The below video takes a closer look at the process that goes into making these intricate designs.
View more of Wiid Design’s work at wiiddesign.co.za.