Australian-born Stacey Kent only planned to visit Berlin for a couple of months — but a holiday turned into a new career. He moved from film set design to his own inimitable brand of sustainable furniture, made from recycled pieces of wood ingrained with Berlin history.
A visit to Berlin’s industrial Treptow district can be truly worth your while. Tucked into the district’s Niederschöneweide quarter along the banks of the Spree is the workshop of Australian-born Stacey Kent. In 2014 he took over a large manufacturing hall and has since been producing furniture from old wooden boards like those used in scaffolding.
Stacey Kent is happy to let people watch him work at his workshop. Visitors are always welcome and he is easy to contact through his website or via WhatsApp or Facebook. Back when he first set foot on Berlin soil in 2011, Stacey Kent only intended to stay in the hip city for two or three months. But then the inevitable happened: He met a woman, fell in love, and stayed.
He started out in a job as a film set designer and began learning about woodworking. Back in Australia, Stacey Kent had studied economics with a focus on sustainability and it was ultimately this interest that led him to notice all of the old wooden boards and forgotten transport pallets strewn about Berlin. It would make great material to experiment with, he thought.
“I sold my first handcrafted furniture to friends, then moved on to DIY platforms and online shops,” explains Stacey Kent. He was met with robust demand — even from overseas. Stacey Kent likes to let the native character of the solid, second-hand wooden boards — often made of oak — shine through. Sure, the splinters are sanded down and damage smoothed over with epoxy resin, but the structure of the wood and the natural discolouration developed over years of use remain indelible features of the final product.
When paired with the delicate or brawny steel legs welded by Stacey Kent’s friend, Ogi, his wooden creations take on a new life as tables, benches and chairs with a stark, purist aesthetic. That look is also reflected in Stacey Kent’s new tables, made of cast and sanded terrazzo. This robust material was a popular flooring substance for homes built in the early 20th century, and enjoys a long tradition in Berlin. Now Stacey Kent’s furniture is returning this characteristic dappled material to its former glory in the city.
All photos by Lena Ganssmann
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Schnellerstr. 1-5 12439 Berlin-Niederschöneweide
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