adaptable, flexible, something that allows the person to customize
Many countries are exploring the use of lesser known species of wood for furniture. I spent a month in Honduras designing a line of furniture on a Mayan theme, specifically using species of woods not commonly utilized. Trends come and go, and I don’t know why some woods are not as popular as others. When I returned, I wanted to show that our native Manitoba woods can be as spectacular as the so-called ‘exotic species’.
I worked with a sawyer to cut the wood to show off the incredible iridescence that gives it a 3-D look. The top of the table is birchbark covered with plexiglas so it can be used as an entry table or an end table. If desired, the plexiglas can be removed to reveal a beautiful top that you can feel as well as see. In that case, one would want to use coasters when putting drinks on it. The table measures 65cm wide x 50cm deep x 70cm high (25.5”W x 19.5”D x 27.5” H). Price: $200
If you desire something unusual and special, then cruise our galleries (both sold and available) to see what our inspiration, philosophy, and creative thought has produced.
–we believe our pieces can function at an art level because they address issues, explore concepts and express thoughts.
–they are unique, one-of-a-kind and personal. We try to blur the line between utility and art.
–we use the language of visual expression–color, texture, composition–to create items that are unique in design and singular in execution.
The sections of thick wood maintain their live edge to enhance the organic nature of the tabletop while showcasing the grain and coloration of the Manitoba maple.
The juxtaposition of natural wood with sleek glass and metal makes this table into an exceedingly elegant, light composition.
The different tones in the wood are highlighted by the copper color of the table base, the benches and the chairs.
Six comfortable transparent acrylic chairs with custom powder-coated bases and fittings flank the table to provide comfortable seating, retain a clear view of the beautiful edges of the wood and maintain the elegant, modern aspect of the ensemble. They also complement the glass.
Using metal for the base allowed me to design an elegant table with lots of leg room. The modern look of the chairs, base and benches form the counterpart to the thick, natural wood. This gives the suite a dynamic presence.
Additional seating for four is provided at the ends by two custom designed upholstered benches. Our metal division fabricated both the table base and the bench bases. Notice how perfect the welds are—it looks like the pieces grew that way!
Depending on how the light hits the easy-care upholstery, it is either the color of milk chocolate or dark chocolate. The darker tones of the ultra-suede fabric complement the brighter tones of the copper powder-coated legs.
The benches were designed for comfort first and by using metal, I was able to make them appear to float at the ends of the table. Their design and low height allows one to see through it and will support one’s back (whether you are 5’2” or 6’3”).
The finish on the table is tung oil. It provides a protective finish while giving a lot of depth. Professor Norm Kenkel, a biologist at the University of Manitoba, reminded me of another reason to use it:
“Tung oil is an environmentally safe and sustainable wood finishing product.” There are reasons why tung oil has been used as a wood finish for thousands of years. It’s great stuff. For a traditional pure oil-rubbed finish, it’s the only game in town.”
Tung oil may have been in use as far back as Confucius’s times (circa 400 BC). The Chinese ship industry has been known to use tung oil in the protection and finishing of wooden ships in the 14th century.
The suite includes the table, 6 chairs, 2 benches and 6 LED candles.
Table: 107cm W x 245cm L x 74cm H(42”W x 96.5”L X 29”H)
Benches: 107cm W x 50cm D x 74cm H(42”W x 20”D x 29”H)
Chairs: 55cm W x 56cm D x 82cm H (21-5/8”W x 22”D x 32-1/4” H)
**WE WOULD BE HAPPY TO TALK WITH YOU ABOUT CREATING ANYTHING! WE BOTH ENJOY THE CHALLENGE AND REWARD OF TRANSLATING YOUR INTERESTS AND LIFESTYLE INTO A COMMISSIONED PIECE THAT REFLECTS YOU.**
“…a greater contingent of homegrown designers both established and emerging is not only finding success in Canada, but forging a national aesthetic based on attention to materials, robust lines, cheeky humour and a marked eco-consciousness.”
-Danny Sinopoli, The Globe and Mail
“…individuality and singularity implies rarity, which breeds desire”
I am continuing to explore the question “can a birchbark piece be sophisticated?” This table exploits the beauty of bark that has the feel of top-grain leather. However, the design and the top are very modern.
An angular base showcases both sides of what birch bark can look like. The dowels securing the base are covered in dyed rawhide. With a sandblasted glass top thick enough to withstand hot drinks, this piece takes an age-old natural material and brings it into the 21st century. The top detaches for easier transport.
The natural rawhide and bark juxtapose with the glass top.
The tree this piece came from was destined to be destroyed to widen an existing road. I heard about it and went to look at it.
Manitoba bur oak is an extremely dense wood, especially heavy when still green. We cut a 1.2 meter (4 foot) length from its trunk, but Reg and I could not even lever it onto the trailer. We had to go and find someone with a front end loader to lift it into the trailer so we could transport it to my sawyer to be cut.
At home, I did some calculations and determined the piece weighed over 272 kg (600 pounds)! I am happy to report that the table, although still quite heavy, can now be taken apart and moved by one person.
This is an excellent example of handcrafted furniture made by INAKA. This unique contemporary handmade wood table would be an asset to any home. High quality custom designed handmade wood furniture is a reflection of the owner as well as of the artist.
91.5cm L x 50cm W x 40cm H
36”L x 20”W x 16”H
This table explores the medium of birch bark. I harvest the bark myself from trees already logged. The care with which it must be acquired and processed makes it as valuable as full-grain leather. I used almost 3 square meters (30 sq.ft.) in this piece.
Birch bark is a material that has been used by people on several continents since prehistoric times.
A form able to exploit the possibilities of the bark led to the simple drum shape. “Drum” is an architectural term referring to one of the cylindrical building blocks of a column. The six 3-D tessellations give the optical illusion of building blocks. Almost 400 birch bark parallelograms were formed into hexagons which appear as cubes to achieve the effect. Dyed birch bark makes up the background and top of the table with the bark tessellations left their natural color.
The table would be stunning in an entry or as a display table for another piece of artwork. Or stack books on it in a library. As with most of my pieces, they are flexible in their functions.
This is an excellent example of handcrafted studio wooden furniture made by INAKA. This unique contemporary handmade wooden table would be an asset to any home. High quality custom designed handmade wood furniture is a reflection of the owner as well as of the artist.
61cm diameter x 76cm H
24”diameter x 30”H
I named this table after Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye, a Canadian explorer who ventured farther west than any previous European explorer had. He traveled to Winnipeg and then southwest, along the trails where I found this tree. He was searching for a route across Canada from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. He didn’t find it, but I like to think that perhaps he stopped and camped near this oak, tying his food to it and starting the bend that resulted in the U-shaped trunk.
Pierre would have traveled here with his two sons in 1738. I cut down this tree in 2004 when it was going to be removed to widen a road. I counted 284 rings on the trunk, so I like to think that Pierre had touched it, along with all his dreams.
This is an excellent example of handmade studio wooden furniture made by INAKA. This unique contemporary handcrafted wood table would be an asset to any home. High quality custom designed handmade wood furniture is a reflection of the owner as well as of the artist.
91.5cm L x 91.5cm W x 30cm H
36”L x 36”W x 12”H
The wood for this table came from a family who homesteaded in Manitoba in the mid 1880’s. They planted several maples around the turn of the 20th century in hopes of realizing sugar production from them. When the family started to specialize in crop production, the trees were forgotten until a subsequent buyer wanted to clear more land, and started bulldozing them down and burning them. This is all that is left of that stand.
A free form glass top I designed finishes the piece. I’m sure I’ll never find a piece with such exquisite grain ever again. The table could be used as a hall, entry or sofa table. It is a knock-down design for ease in shipping.
This is an outstanding example of handcrafted wooden furniture made from reclaimed wood by INAKA. This unique contemporary handcrafted studio wood table with glass top would be a highly desirable asset to any home. High quality custom designed handmade wood furniture is a reflection of the owner as well as of the artist.
132cm L x 58cm D x 84cm H
52”L x 23”D x 33”H