Thatched Reed Benches Take a Cue from the Past

© georgi manassiev

Two different designers; two different aesthetics. Noted here were the sleek and modernist reed benches made from reeds from a Dutch park by Steven Banken. Now another duo, Els Woldhek and Georgi Manassiev have come up with a different model.

Their debut piece, Reeds, was a side table, made from reeds growing in their client's Dutch village and bought from the local thatcher living nearby.

© georgi manassiev

The base is made of water reeds. The method is very similar to that employed by traditional thatchers: the reed is tied together in bundles, then trimmed down and padded into the final shape.

© georgi manassiev

The result is a free form sculptural shape. The edges and surface show the intricate pattern of the cuts and different shaped reeds. It's a celebration of the "reed-ness" of the furniture.

© georgi manassiev

The oak for the tabletop came from the local boat builder who builds traditional all-wooden boats used in the village (don't forget those Dutch canals).

© georgi manassiev

This is their second table, made from reed grown in Norfolk, UK and with the top made from London Plane tree wood, coming from the Olympic site.

© georgi manassiev

The Bulgarian and Dutch designers met at art school in London. They are inspired by the potential of this natural material. As reeds and grasses can be found all over the world, variations can be explored working with local craftsmen.

Tags: Designers | Furniture | Netherlands