Our Materials

Materials have a language of themselves. They tell us the story of their origin and can evoke virtues deeply rooted within us. Through an extensive period of exploration, designing and making, we’ve built our own palette of high-quality materials that collaborate with each other. We treat them a certain way to allow their historical narrative and tactile qualities to speak for themselves. With playful combinations, bold geometries and specific surface treatments we celebrate the essence of our materials.

 

Salvaged Rimu

 

Rimu, also known as ‘red pine’, is one of New Zealand’s most popular native timbers. Māori used this wood to build canoes, tools and weapons and its gum was applied for medical purposes. In the early 20th Century, post-European settlement, rimu trees were extensively milled, valued both in the housing industry for its hardness and density, as well as the furniture industry for its exceptionally beautiful wooden grain. Because of this excessive logging, after housing construction materials shifted in the 1970s, rimu became a protected species.

 

The crown of an old mature rimu Westcoast, South Island.
(Photo by Phil Bendle).
Late 18th Century Maori One-Piece Shark Hook made of one piece of wood, most likely rimu.
(Webster Collection Y15601. Photo by Dunbar et al). 
 
In 1916, the Mountain Rimu Timber Company was operating in the Mamaku area,
south of the Kaimai Range near Rotorua. In the background are steam haulers, used to shift logs.
(sourced from teara.govt.nz
Cut-away view of a typical villa of 1900
(redrawn from Old New Zealand Houses 1800–1940 by Jeremy Salmond).


 

 

At present, due to the renovation boom, a large proportion of rimu timber coming from old demolished homes goes directly to landfill. By working with local demolishing companies, we divert this process and salvage the rimu timber to give it a second life.

 

 

 

This is the story behind all the timber we use to build our pieces. A scarce timber, local to New Zealand’s conditions with an extensive cultural heritage that served great utilitarian purposes and functioned as architectural support, is now scaled down to furniture – furniture with a historical statement.

 

Our furniture has a written label on the underside with the provenance of its timber (location, building period & type and demolition date). See our 'Provenance' blog post that documents all the locations where our timber was sourced from.

 

Steel

Made from iron ore and coal, steel is recognised for its tensile strength and structural applications. Steel is reminiscent of the skeletal structures of the industrial revolution period - old railways, bridges and architectural framing. Steel has an austere quality yet, combined with certain materials and pure forms, it offers a modern appeal. To suit design preferences, we offer a ‘Clear coated finish’ which retains the natural ruggedness of the raw metal or a powder coated finish.

 

Concrete

A bold material that resembles stone, the ancient Romans used concrete to build architectural marvels that are still standing today. Concrete starts as a liquid form that can take almost any shape and mimics the surfaces which it encounters. When cured, it finishes in a rock-solid state. Our original moulds are made with reclaimed timber that have been CNC routed. This results in an intricate milled pattern, imprinted on the surface of our concrete pieces.

 

Raw Brass

An alloy with a gold like appearance mainly composed of copper and zinc, brass is used in diverse areas of our everyday lives such as in musical instruments, architectural decoration, hardware and nautical items. Place brass against wood and it will cooperate with it. We insert brass in some of our pieces to amplify the rich hues of the rimu. Our brass is brushed and left raw to build patina over the course of time.