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Wood if you could
Wood if you could
Zeke Leonard has turned sconces derived from scraps into lighting and furniture that emphasis the beauty inherent in natural wood.

He lets us in on how reclaiming discarded materials to useful objects has become a part of his soul.

Krftd: Hello Zeke, we love that you reclaim natural wood and turn them into soulful pieces. How did you start this project?
Zeke: My former career was as a set designer for theaters. After about fifteen years in that line of work, I realised that everything I had designed and made in my life have gone into the garbage. That's a lot of garbage. I realised that I needed to rethink my relationship to the objects that I designed, and to the materials they are made of. I realised that as a designer I have a responsibility to myself and to us all to make the world better in what ever way I can. My take on that has been to try as much as possible to reverse my previous approach to materials, and rather than make beautiful things and then put them into the trash, to take discarded things and make them into beautiful objects, objects so compelling that people do not want to throw them away.

Krftd: So, what does a typical day in the life of Zeke Leonard involve?
Zeke: Everyday varies. It could be a visit with a client, a visit to a junkyard or a vendor, or it could be in the studio. I like to work early in the day, when my brain works the best and my ears are at its sharpest. I listen to the material to try and hear what it wants to be and how it wants to be used. Some of my work involves simply sitting with the material to understand it and how best to use it. So my days are all very different, which is part of the reason what I like about them.

Krftd: We assume you exercise strict quality control for every piece?
Zeke: I choose every single part of every single piece that I make personally. It is a slower way to work, but my relationship with the things I make is very intimate. It is the only way I know how to do this honestly. I try to learn the history of every board or piece of steel, and when I am buying new wood or using plywood or sheet material, I use only certified lumber.

Read more of the interview
Zeke Leonard

Zeke Leonard

Zeke Leonard

Zeke Leonard