Laurie Wiid van Heerden takes us on a tour through his Cape Town studio

Combining different materials and experimenting with shapes is right up designer Laurie Wiid van Heerden's alley

11 March 2018 - 00:00 By Roberta Thatcher

One of the traditional techniques my studio incorporates in our products is hand-carved details on furniture, such as my Meraki Daybed, as well as hand-carved collectible objects like timber or cork tortoiseshells. It is important for me to incorporate ancient skills that are true to Africa and combine these skills with contemporary design.Collaborations have always been important to me. Every artist or craftsman has their speciality and I respect that. I love to work with people to learn, challenge and create new things.
I generally become good friends with the people I collaborate with, whether they are photographers, carpenters or, in this case, the ceramic artists from Ceramic Matters. It's a special moment when skills are combined, trust is gained and new original pieces or ventures are created.I love combining different materials and experimenting with shapes. I get inspiration from a variety of things including antique shops, books, nature, collaborations and travelling.My office overlooks the showroom, which has two large frosted acrylic panels in the ceiling. These filter natural light allowing me to grow large plants in my Soma planters.My studio specialises in high-end product design and commissions. I take on commercial projects, but the emphasis remains on high-quality handmade products. Most incorporate some form of technology, but the finishing and final shaping will always be done by hand.My studio is in Observatory, Cape Town.
I love that it is split into two, with the factory on one side and the offices and showroom on the other.
This means I can organise my manufacturing, reduce noise levels from the factory side to the offices and keep finished products separate and clean - ready for dispatch.The Wiid Design showroom is open to the public by appointment only

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