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Nugu Brings design-led, sustainable dinnerware to North America
Reduxwood West brings more than live edge, hand crafted furniture to North Vancouver. It also brings sustainability, passion for beauty, and one-of-a kind art pieces inspired by nature.
Deep in the waters of some Central American lakes, stories are unfolding. Over more than a century, nature’s touch has preserved, altered, and made beautiful acres of underwater forests, and each tree within tells its own tale.
“These exotic hardwoods, which for decades have been lost to the world, submerged and forgotten, have been preserved intact underwater,” says Justin Ephraim, founder of Reduxwood, which creates live-edge wood products for a global following. “During that time, the grain, texture and hardness of the wood has undergone a gradual transformation that can only come about by a slow and natural interaction with the minerals found in freshwater.”
Under Water Wood: Amargo, Dragon Wood, Espave, Tiger Wood, Zapatero
Native divers harvest the trees using pneumatic chainsaws and float them to the surface. This work is completed with permission from local Kuna tribes, and the wood is sold as part of a subsistence economy.
In 1907, valleys were flooded to create the Panama Canal and Lake Gatun was formed. There was no value seen in the trees at that time, so they were left standing and have been submerged for over a century. This is one source of Reduxwood West’s collection. The other is Lake Bayano, which was created when the river was dammed in 1976 to bring power to the people of that region.
Once harvested, the wood air-dries on the beach in Panama for three to six months before the Reduxwood team hand-selects its pieces. When they arrive at the facility in Vietnam, they are milled and stacked with the ends waxed to slow the drying process.
This process is not for the rushed or impatient. Air-drying takes another three to five years—to do anything else, such as kiln dry, would sacrifice the wood’s stability. Next, the pieces are hand-sanded and finished with the purest natural oils and resins.
Transformed into contemporary furniture pieces, each a distinctive form with unique colouring and grain that brightens its final destination with the quiet reverence of a work of art.
Urban Salvaged Jungle Woods: Chamcha, Mango Wood, Tamarind
The Reduxwood team also hunts for unique spieces in the jungles of Thailand from which these fallen trees find new life. All are ethically harvested and hand selected for shipment to Vietnam and Vancouver to undergo the sanding and natural oiling process.
The company has also worked with Turkish Walnut and Vietnamese Mahogany and will continue to source out other beautiful exotic woods.
The company’s intention is to support sustainable forestry, honour nature, and conserve its artistry for future generations. Throughout the process, Reduxwood works with local teams to ensure timber is harvested legally and in compliance with the rules and regulations in import and export countries.
The Evolution of Reduxwood
Reduxwood West has never strayed from principles it developed as a family-run business operated by Justin and Thao Ephraim over the past decade. The pair operated exclusively in Vietnam under Reduxwood until they had the opportunity to start up Reduxwood West. Justin’s long-time friend Conrad Clemiss started thinking about bringing the Under Water Wood to North America in 2017. In the interest of bringing on seasoned business owners with experience in the woodworking industry, he approached close friends Shaun and Deanna Rutherford to partner up in the new endeavour and the rest is history.
Over the past three years, Reduxwood West has evolved by expanding its showroom and opening a work studio where the company is able to fabricate statement pieces for the local Vancouver market. It also hosts showrooms in San Diego and Vietnam, enabling accessibility for customers as far as Hong Kong, all across the United States, and Canada.
Learn more about Reduxwood at reduxwood.com and connect on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter.