Laurie Wiid van Heerden established his studio, Wiid Design, in Cape Town in 2013. Often working collaboratively with other artists and across a wide variety of materials, Laurie’s product range spans furniture, lighting, tableware and collectible objects that combine specialist manufacturing with handcrafting.
The studio has become well-known for its innovative use of cork in high-end product design,architecture and large-scale production manufacturing. Recognised as an African “ambassador” for cork by Portuguese producer Amorim, Laurie has pushed the boundaries of the material to achieve a number of world “firsts” – including the world’s largest cork pendant light and cork cabinet, both of which have been exhibited by Southern Guild.
Laurie Wiid’s work comes from a conceptual and artistic environment, an angle on various topics of contemporary culture, with a focus on traditional handcrafting in combination with avant-garde techniques. By combining handcrafting and specialist techniques, Wiid transforms materials into life-enriching and durable objet d’art.
Born in Cape Town in 1987, Laurie opted for a hands-on approach to studying design and manufacturing. He apprenticed to Otto du Plessis and Charles Haupt at Bronze Age Foundry as well as to a carpenter for three years, and from 2009 to 2013 he worked closely with leading South African sculptor Wim Botha as his assistant. During this time he started designing and manufacturing his own ceramics and furniture, and collaborating with fellow creatives.
The first in his ongoing series of one-off benches, Untitled (After W.B.), is based on the techniques he learnt while working for Botha. A tribute to his mentor and an exploration of Laurie’s love for working with timber, the carefully constructed bench seat comprises a number of faceted and angular planes that form a controlled point or climax.
True to his polymathic approach to manufacturing, Laurie has since gone on to design a number of other benches in various materials, including terrazzo, Finnish Birch ply, concrete, salvaged antique timber beams, and mild steel finished with automotive paint. He has collaborated with the artist Lionel Smit and designer / illustrator Atang Tshikare on the latter, and has enjoyed a long-running working relationship with Ceramic Matters to produce lavishly glazed tiled furniture.
Manufactured in Cape Town from 100% organic and completely recyclable cork, this particular grade of cork is manufactured from recycled cork particles and is produced industrially without the use of additives and requires low energy consumption.
The cork will grey and age with time. The natural resins in our cork that bind it will keep for years and, just as a cork in a bottle of wine, the cork will resist damage from being wet. The cork does not require regular maintenance but to renew the surface it can be lightly sanded with 220grit sandpaper revealing fresh dark cork and therefore removing the grey should this be your preference.
Wiid Design’s cork bar stools are manufactured from a concrete or terrazzo base, the solid natural cork seats are available in four different cork grades and the steel is powder coated in a durable outdoor coating. Built -in ball bearings allows each bar stool to swivel, this product is used in residential and commercial projects.
Wiid Design's artistic collaborations have yielded a variety of long-running working relationships with other established artists.
With Ceramic Matters they have produced an array of lavishly glazed tiled furniture and other unique ceramic products that continue to enchant the consumer, and expand the Wiid ouevre.
Wiid Design creates pared-down, perfectly proportioned pieces that are defined by handmade elements and obsessive attention to detail.
Skillfully combining traditional handcrafting and avant-garde techniques, Wiid transforms materials into life-enriching and durable-furniture such as stools, benches, side tables, planters and dining tables, as well as lighting and tableware.
Laurie Wiid’s work comes from a conceptual and artistic environment, an angle on various topics of contemporary culture, with a focus on traditional handcrafting in combination with avant-garde techniques.
By combining handcrafting and specialist techniques, Wiid transforms materials into life-enriching and durable objet d’art.
Laurie Wiid van Heerden won the Maker to Market Award At the 2013 Design Foundation Awards for his strong understanding of the value of brand-building and identity, marketing, consumer interaction and packaging.
Conde Nast House & Garden Award for production excellence in South African design at 100% Design South Africa in 2014, for Best Lighting Design in 2015, and again for Best Lighting Design in 2019.
He was also recognized by the Arts & Culture Trust with its ImpACT Award in 2015 and by BRAVE / Rock Girl, a charity organisation, with the 2017 Brave Award for his support of its work to create safe spaces for girls.
He has exhibited at 100% Design in London, Design Days Dubai, Design Miami/ Basel and Design Miami.
Acknowledgement and Gratitude to Riaan Tolken, Justin Patrick, Johann de Klerk & Henrique Wilding for the photography featured in Wiid Design.
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