Visiting the studio of Richard Haining

Reclaimed wood is a processed wood which is salvaged from its original application and utilized for another. It is typically reclaimed from buildings, mostly barns, water tower, and furniture. With the growing awareness for protecting our planet, and with the concern with the declining quality in new lumber, the practice of reclaimed wood has gained popularity in recent years for its sustainable value.

Brooklyn-based designer/maker Richard Haining has made reclaimed wood his fundamental material. A graduate from RISD, he crafts furniture and vessels of timeless forms in tiny bits of scrap mahogany, maple, oak, and walnut in the stack lamination technique. What would be a waste, receives a second chance, a new life in Haining’s hands. His magical objects are unique, one-off, and 100% hand crafted, demonstrating his passion for the wood and his sacred relationship with the material. Each grows organically, as he is building the forms, while the result is determined by the type and state of the wood, by the process, and by the ritual.

‘The perfection,’ Richard announced, when hosting me in his studio this morning, ‘can be only found in the imperfection.’ The defects, to him, are parts of the history of the wood, its narative, and therefore contain the DNA of its beauty. The unwanted wood becomes mostly desirable under his hands, and I was particularly mesmerized by the way in which material that does not cost anything is made into magical objects of beauty and soul. 

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