Every living thing has a different point of view. A life. A unique story. Most of us don’t get to hear these stories because they are on a frequency we are not tuned to hear.
I work together with nature—I always respect her work. I try to incorporate all the raw natural beauty that wood provides. If driftwood comes to me with holes, I know I must use them as part of the design. I never criticize nature’s work; what may seem, uneven to some, well, is uneven. But, let us consider—or rather, provide some context. Any reputable furniture store will sell you a level table with an even surface. I would like to suggest to you—that while such things are functional, easy to use, and can be beautiful—they are the result of humanity asserting its will on nature. It is a kind of oppression. We force wood into shapes it would never willingly grow into.
Standard furniture is made to fit into standard compartmentalized lives where we are all encouraged to want and be the same things. But what if we step away from all that. Consider what we can learn—what we can become, when we live with nature and respect its will. Each piece here is unique—as are all of you. I could not make an exact replica—even if I wanted to. Just as your character and experiences have defined you, each element of wood has its own character and continues to live its own life. It has had countless experiences, life events and traveled many kilometers across land and sea to get to my workshop. In fact, this is just another leg of its many travels. It may, I hope, even outlive you and I.
That is why these creations are in some ways an obligation. Owning this furniture obligates you to hear each pieces story, honor its journey, and take it into your life. I would like to encourage you to take in the shape and character of each piece and try to feel its story—from a young sapling stretching its leaves in the sunlight, perhaps its reckless years sailing the seas, carousing with the fish, listening to the whispers of the sea coral and dreaming of regrowth, to washing ashore and starting life again, to learning to be part of a new family with you.
Their stories, which are in part our stories, are stories of endurance, natural beauty, and strength. Most of the wood in this furniture was cut and shaped by us into boats or docks or other useful things, but at some point, nature has seen fit to reclaim them.
I love and respect nature. My work is all done to elicit her approval. I recover each piece from the beaches and islands of Hong Kong. I clean, disinfect them, revitalize them with wood oil and get to know each piece. I won’t use a piece until I am certain how it can be best appreciated and understood—which is, I think, what all of us want one way or another.
My work is all done by hand—no electricity is required or used. I drill holes with a mechanical drill, cut wooden dowel rods or branches with my hand saw, and secure them with non-toxic wood glue. I don’t use any screws. However, in each piece, you will find one tack---holding up an emblem that says “handmade”. Next to which is a inlaid mother of pearl heart from which this collection takes its name: Cor De’Mare, the heart of the sea. It is a testament to each piece's journey.