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Franca tree furniture

Redesign, Brazil

Rain forest stumps
In the sixties and seventies large parts of tropical rain forest where cut or burnt down to make way for agriculture and cattle raising grounds. The old growth trees were a welcome source of high quality timber, but the commercially worthless stumps and roots regardlessly left behind. Nowadays, these leftovers of deforestation still lie scattered around the fields.

Design furniture
To the local farmers the remains of old tree trunks are mere obstacles, but to 54-year-old furniture designer Hugo Franca they are a treasure of distinctive raw material. In his work the individual curves, holes and cracks of a stump are not only preserved, but actually form the starting point of an organically shaped table, bench or chair. Each piece has a strong identity, breathing the grandeur of the tropical rain forest.

Indian woodcarving

In 1982 Mr. Franca, then a computer specialist in Sao Paulo, decided he had enough of the dictatorship in his country and abandoned the city's turmoil to start a new life in the jungle. There he spent fifteen years with the Pataxós Indians learning the ancient craftsmanship of woodcarving. His extensive training and the great amount of attention put into each piece of furniture eventually pays of very well. Today, Franca's designs are to be found all over the globe, from museums to lobbies of prestigious hotels and Saint Tropez houses. Prices vary from $18.000 for a canoe chair to $100.000 for a twenty-feet-long dining table.