My heart missed a beat when I discovered Zanat earlier last year… and I’m delighted to be selling a part of their collection.
The Story of Zanat
“It takes a tremendous amount of history to make even a little tradition.”—Henry James
From primitive village craft to UNESCO World Heritage List
Everything began at the beginning of the twentieth century when the grandfather, Gano, stumbled upon a primitive hand-carving technique that originated from a small village, just south of Sarajevo in Bosnia. As a hobbyist, Gano mastered the technique and improved upon it, passing his skills down to his entrepreneurial son, Adem. Today, the unique carving and furniture style developed by the ancestors has become known as the “Bosnian Konjic style.” The quality and uniqueness of the work has garnered global acclaim, and several of their pieces are under state protection as part of Bosnia’s national cultural heritage. In 2014, the Konjic woodcarving technique largely created and developed by the Niksic family was officially nominated by the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage List, and Niksic pieces are currently featured in a UNESCO publication highlighting exceptional craftsmanship in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After the Bosnian war, the family decided to promote a new idea in furniture design and production: one that emphasizes craftsmanship and shows how traditional hand-carving techniques can seamlessly blend with and open new possibilities for modern design. They coined a term to convey their vision: Manulution, which to them represented a revolution of skilled manual work-a revolution of craftsmanship for the modern era. As soon as the products of Manulution came to life, they generated international recognition. Two products received the prestigious Interior Innovation Award at the Cologne Furniture Fair (2011 and 2012) and generated coverage in prestigious international media such as Monocle magazine and the New York Times. Now, at a time when Bosnia is suffering one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe, Zanat is creating opportunities. Their vision has incorporated a developmental model that seeks to help re-establish Bosnia’s place in the global furniture market, while also demonstrating the highest standards of corporate governance and sustainability. They are expanding the skills of already accomplished wood workers and hiring and training new staff with salaries well above most other entry level opportunities in Bosnia. At the same time, they are committed to making their products with sustainably harvested wood from local suppliers, as we know that Bosnia’s abundant forests must be well-managed if succeeding generations are to enjoy both their bounty and their beauty. Zanat is committed to achieving a carbon neutral footprint through product longevity, zero wood waste, and reforestation and conservation.The furniture produced by the grandfather could be found in the residencies and offices of aristocrats and elites throughout South Central Europe. Today their furniture is finding favourr in a global market and can be found in fine homes, commercial developments, and religious institutions throughout Europe, the United States and the Middle East. While the designs and scale of their company have, and will continue to evolve – their company values will not.They are committed to both the satisfaction of their customers and to their traditions. They believe that customers should feel secure when they buy a piece from Zanat, they are not only improving their home, they are improving the world.
Zanat items choosen by the Collection
designed by Gert Wingårdh & Sara Helder
Tattoo stool is a neat, light, stable and stackable stool with beautiful and playful carvings, available in a three – or four – legged version. The wholes made in different shape through the stool top make carrying the stools easy. The stools can be tattooed from head to toe or in a very discreet way. They can be chosen in different types of wood, colors, stained or lacquered. Symbolism/stories of the graphics are to be created in the eye of the beholder. For the designers, tattoos are about the contrasts in life, love, joy, sorrow and pain.
designed by Monica Förster
The Nera bowls combine light wooden bowls, which seem to levitate on hand-carved stands. The bowls come in three different sizes and are available in three different species of wood. They come with different carving patterns, which add a special playful expression to the bowls.
designed by Studioilse
Touch Trays are a part of the Touch collection consisting of benches, trays and other objects. Their special quality lies in the handcarved surfaces that engage our instinctive impulse to feel something, and reflect our hunger for more tactile surroundings in the digital age. The trays are hand-made in Bosnia Herzegovina using Zanat’s wood carving skills, current nominee for the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity List. Since the craftsmen carve the trays at random, without drawings – each is unique as no two carved surfaces will ever look the same.
Designers who created these items for Zanat
Stools by Sara Helder and Gert Wingårdh :
Sara Helder graduated as an interior architect SIR/MSA, 1997 at HDK in Gothenburgh. Sara is together with Gert Wingårdh (see below).
Gert Wingårdh graduated as an architect SAR/MSA, 1975 at Chalmers University of Tecnology in Gothenburgh. Gert founded Wingårdhs in 1977 which today employs more than 150 people. The office pays great attention to details and the projects span every aspect from the urban scale to the private space. Notable projects are the Swedish Embassies in Berlin and Washington DC, Aula Medica at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and the restoration of the National Museum in Stockholm.
Gert Wingårdh has continually participated in numerous architectural competitions and has an excellent track record with more than 70 wins, most recently for Statoil HQ, Stavanger, Norway and Liljewalchs Art Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. Buildings designed by Gert Wingårdh are frequently nominated to the European Mies van der Rohe Awards, have received awards by America Institute of Architects and is the recipient of the highest Swedish Architectural award (the Kasper Salin Prize) a unique five times.
Bowls by Monica Förster:
Born in 1966, Monica Förster is the creator of some of the most internationally renowned objects in contemporary Swedish design today. Her work is characterized by a strong sense of pure form mixed with a never-ending curiosity for new materials and technology. Always trying to work in across-disciplinary way, she invents and renews typologies in industrial, furniture and object design. Monica Förster, who is one of the top names within Swedish design, has created some of the future’s classic designs. Monica Förster Design Studio is based in Stockholm, and works globally with companies such as Alessi, Cappellini, Poltrona Frau, De Padova, Bernhardt, Volvo, Whirlpool, Vibia, Tacchini, Modus, Offecct and Swedese. She has been awarded numerous Swedish and international awards such as Designer of the Year and has been exhibited all over the world in museums and institutions such as MoMA, New York and VA museum, London. Monica Förster has also been represented in the International Design Yearbook.
Trays by Studioilse:
Studioilse, led by Ilse Crawford and Oscar Peña, is a multi-disciplinary design studio with a simple mission to put human needs and desires at the centre of all that they do. This means creating environments where humans feel comfortable; public spaces that make people feel at home and homes that are habitable and make sense for the people who live in them. It means designing furniture and products that support and enhance human behaviour and actions in everyday life.