My work as a craftsman is an exploration into integrity. The object, its production process, and its relation to life in this world are the medium.
My creative process is a consecutive transfer of planes, in which the final shape of the object preexists in all previous planes. The perfection of the object depends on each and the sum of all these planes. Each step then demands perfection in itself. Each step is the object.
My approach towards integrity is inseparable from the ideas of “perfection” and the “infinite” as expressed in the coastline paradox, the origin of the chaos theory. It describes the dilemma one is confronted with when trying to define the length of a coastline. The length of any coastline depends entirely on the methodology one applies to measure it. An infinitely small measuring unit will lead to an infinite coastline.
Wood is my material of choice. Its physical characteristics, its beginning, and its endless transformation through time not only stimulate but demands a holistic approach when working with it. Not respecting its internal tensions and dynamics related to its context will lead to a flawed object.
A piece of furniture provides a direct link to our physicality and thus integrity. Wooden furniture accompanies us through life, from birth to death, from cradle to coffin. It exists as an omnipresent link to nature and thus to ourselves, as we too are a part of nature, just as the tree was before the furniture.
One's perfect life, one's perfect “happiness” seems to be inseparable from the idea of the perfect object. In the world, we have created so far, and every day more so, it seems the only way to sustain life is through objects and so life itself becomes an object. In reality, however, life has no fixed physical finality other than forming ephemeral links to sustain the circle of life. It is dynamic and forever changing, just as wood or any other element of nature. The greatness of life lies in the living itself, which is, in the end, each and every infinitely small step we take. Shortcuts, we are so tempted to take, only cut life short.
My most important reference is the tree, which provides me with the raw material for my work, a wise being that connects the heavens with the earth. It is the tallest and one of the oldest living beings on the planet, a master of engineering as Claus Mattheck explains so well in his essays on biomechanics. And if we think of the sum of each of the trees, the reference becomes nature and we call it landscape.
We are landscape before we are born and after we die. In between we are landscape architects. And as those, in response to our limitations, we have positioned ourselves at the center of everything. I believe it is time to bury our egos and listen to nature.