Portugal, Furniture in Wood –
Portuguese brand WEWOOD elevates their crafted solid wood furniture with outstanding joinery and a touch of heritage from their homeland
WEWOOD IS GLOBALLY KNOWN for their well-crafted furniture in solid wood using clean lines and simple geometries. The focus is on the beauty of the wood and the finesse of the artisan. High-end joinery is elevated by producing exquisite solid furniture that promotes Portuguese culture and design.
The company collaborates with Singapore architecture and design company WOHA to craft and design collections for their home furnishings unit wohabeing. A recent team effort is the Cubist Mirror Screen, a room divider, a mirror and an object that turns the space surrounding it into a piece of art.
New in Wewood’s Collection is Side By Side Tables designed by Portuguese product designer Rita Botelho. The selection of round tables made of solid wood and metal shows off the beauty of the solid wood which is emphasised by the construction that also allows it to be customised with different table tops.
A Chat with Salvador Gonzaga, founder and CEO of Wewood
We only work with oak and walnut. These are beautiful premium woods that increase the durability and quality of our furniture.”
Your products are all about well-crafted wood. How do you bring out the natural beauty of wood in your designs?
Wewood is a young brand founded in 2010 but actually has roots within Móveis Carlos Alfredo company, which has been specialising in manufacturing & exporting solid wood furniture since 1964, as a result of its Research and Development Office.
Despite its youth Wewood already had its first designs presented to the international public in 2012 edition of Maison & Objet. The decades of experience, love and dedication of our workers, together with the quality of the wood and the ideas of our designers and some other designers and architects we collaborate with, are all important for the final result of our creations.
What types of wood do you like to work with?
We only work with oak and walnut. These are beautiful premium woods that increase the durability and quality of our furniture. We place major importance to the forests and we care about where it comes from, so we only work with wood that comes from sustainably managed forests. It’s renewable because the forest stewards manage the landscape to prevent damage to ecosystems, watersheds, wildlife and the trees themselves, taking a longterm rather than shortterm view of the resource.
When you love the wood you have to pay attention to all the steps of the process, and not only the final product.
Do you employ traditional Portuguese methods of joinery and crafting?
Yes, we do. As mentioned, we have decades of experience and some of our workers have been with us since long ago. Wewood’s products are not produced solely by hand. There is a mix of craftsmanship and technological sophistication.
Our process goes through several methods, from the most manual to the most mechanised. The process begins with the choice of the wood and the formation of the panels. This process is all manual; later the wood passes to the phase of calibration and machining that are more mechanised processes and ends with the manual assembly. The surface finishes are also manual.
You have a partnership with Singapore-based architecture design practice WOHA and their furnishings brand wohabeing – launching your Cubist Screen Mirror at Maison&Objet 2018. Do you both share the same philosophy in design and craftsmanship and sustainability; and do you have fun working together?
Yes. When I met Wong Mun Summ and Richard Hassell, we found that we share the same philosophy in design and sustainability. For us, the products are designed not just to be aesthetically pleasing but also to be comfortable and durable. The materials and the working conditions of the workers are also very important for both sides.
We are in different parts of the world and we don’t see each other that often. The new communication technologies are very important to collaborate on our work and to discuss new designs and products. We are in different time zones. The end of the working day in Singapore is the beginning of our working day, so it ends up being funny. When we finish some of our Skype meetings they are ready to go home and we have a big working day ahead. We make fun of it and always confuse good morning with good night.
We are enjoying the process together and even the miscommunications are part of it. The most important aspect is the final product and the meaning of it for the client when it becomes part of their homes.
What is your favouite design element in this Cubist Screen Mirror?
For me the most distinctive design element is the mirrored surfaces, that can be arranged at different angles, turning the different reflections of the room into a piece of art.
What food do you crave for after a hard day at work?
In Portugal, we have a wonderful sea coast with amazing fish. So, after a hard day at work, I love a tasty grilled Brill fish and a glass of Portuguese white wine.
Story by Carol Kraal. Photographs courtesy of Wewood and wohabeing