Based out of Ontario, Nos Natura is a collective of socially conscious, nature-loving craftspeople. Their design is driven by their passion for design and nature, starting from the sourcing of the materials itself. Rather than cutting down the hardwood they use, they strip it in a way that leaves the trunk intact, rendering the tree still alive after the procedure. They also often salvage wood from fallen trees reclaimed wood, and make sure to employ that aesthetic into their work.
The techniques Nos Natura employs are meant to preserve old-fashioned craft as much as possible, which results in unique one-of pieces that are hand-carved, and impossible to mass-produce.
Their walnut coffee table for instance, employs a beautiful relief carving of a scene of lively fish, and comes in a matching set of chairs, carved equally extravagantly.
Though the piece features incredible detail, it still retains a rough cylindrical form that pays homage to the original log used, and reminds us of its original form.
Nos Natura differs significantly from most furniture design firms, in that there's no aesthetic or style that they 'brand' as their own. They don't pursue a specific set of stylistic features based on their reputation as a brand. Instead, they focus on their methodology and allow it to take full control until the final product.
This means that the design is not restricted by arbitrary stylistic features, and is simply about the pursuit of the best final product imaginable, regardless of how well it matches other pieces, like this one-of-a-kind idiosyncratic teak bench, shaped like a boat.
In the contemporary design industry of mass-production, design tends to be driven by monetary constraints more than anything.
A beautiful idea that can't be mass-produced at a reasonable cost is often subject to minimalist simplification, and a break-down of the form into something more 'feasible', for the manufacturing process. As this phenomenon effectively helps create a trend in simple, sleek furniture, it also creates a void of handmade finely detailed, complex pieces. Which is why it's a great thing that organizations like Nos Natura are thriving, along with the rediscovery of traditional craft.
To learn more about their beautiful craft, visit Nos Natura.
Photography courtesy of Nos Natura.
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Researched and Written by Mikhail Shchupak-Katsman, Undergraduate Environmental Design, OCAD University