Artemano - October 4, 2016
In a world of mass production and copy-cats it’s not easy to offer authenticity and originality. Providing unique products that have been crafted by hand and carry a piece of history is no simple task. It takes dedication, commitment, passion and a true love for what you do.
For Eyal Shoam, the co-owner of Artemano, delivering ambiances that are filled with objects and items that embody the spirit of the countries they come from, is a must. Eyal who is avidly involved in the sourcing, creation and design of the brand, says that doing “the research, studying and understanding the countries we visit so that we can best respect and honour their culture, history and way of doing things” is key.
Sourcing Artemano pieces means respecting the character, nature and temperament of the materials that are being used. It requires taking time to properly understand and see the qualities that already exist within the material and highlighting them; allowing the material’s best parts to shine through.
“We learned early on and through trial and error that trying to tame certain types of wood, working against them, attempting to turn them into something that they’re not, doesn’t work. The woods we source behave better in their natural states,” explains Eyal.
Artemano’s Suar collection is a clear example of this. Instead of making standard pieces with suar wood, Eyal quickly learned that suar lends itself best when creating pieces that showcase its natural lines, live-edges, cracks and knots. By using suar – an actual by-product, which is initially used to produce shellac – Artemano has created and offers a freeform, organic line that is not only designed alongside nature but that also has a recycled twist to it.
When sourcing in the Java island, Indonesia Eyal will visit with locals who have worked in the same industry from generation to generation. This is how he develops “product that will maintain, carry the spirit of the people and the place.” For example, the production of Artemano’s rattan collection stems from the city of Cerebon, where the villagers specialize in harvesting, drying and slicing of rattan.
Artemano’s renowned boat wood collection is designed in the same spirit, with the authenticity of the people from the fisherman village of Jayapura. “The market might be full of look-a-likes, but because we continue to work with the original idea and suppliers we are continuing to honour their story. We are giving these boats that are no longer of use, a second life, another chance. That’s part of the Artemano story and what makes us different.”
Outside of the city of Jogja, the specialty is teak roots and ceramics. Eyal makes it a point of visiting regularly, to discover the crafts-people’s newest creations, to search for new materials and to explore how to inject old ones with western ideas.
Trying new things with materials like old construction wood that is used in some of Artemano’s recycled collections is exciting, different and innovative. It’s implementing unique ideas and methods. It’s using an element in an unconventional manner, elevating its potential, while honouring its history. “Old construction wood that is dismantled from homes that are no longer lived in, is dense, strong and has a distinct colour to it. You don’t find this quality of wood so easily anymore. Its quality is unique and undisputed. We are lucky and grateful to give it another purpose.”
Sometimes new sourcing ideas can originate from the most unexpected of places. Artemano’s Sonokeling collection, crafted out of Indonesian rosewood, was born when Eyal was intrigued by crates used to package, transport and deliver other Artemano goods. Once he learned that the crates were made out of a specific type of rosewood, one that contains purple and darker brown hues, he decided to try and create a collection out of it. Initially it wasn’t easy, “each type of wood has its own way of behaving. This type of rosewood is different from Indian Sheesham, because its slabs are narrower and twisted. The drying process is different. The slicing process is different. Everything is different. But we worked closely alongside our supplier. We overcame the obstacles and what we found ultimately is a treasure. Now, we have another, original rosewood collection.”
With over a generation of working in the business, sourcing for Eyal has become his passion. He has learned to stay true to the nature of the materials while infusing them with North American design ideas. In doing so, he doesn’t only dabble, but is fully immersed in innovation and the creation of new trends within a world full of possibilities and discoveries.