All of our original products are handmade in Malawi, Africa. We are proud of the relationships that we have and the unique story that each piece carries along the journey to America. We have developed a sustainable design and build process in Lilongwe, Malawi that involves collaboration between several people that all care about what we do.
From sustainably sourcing the exotic trees, to milling each tree by hand into raw slabs. From drying all of the slabs in our kiln, to creating specific designs that celebrate the character of each piece of wood. From fabricating custom steel legs to highlight the beauty of each piece, to finally shipping our completed collection to America. We care deeply about quality control and staying true to the narrative of Contour.
Designing, building and curating is a very complex, yet smooth process that enables us to see our vision for Contour realized through each work of art. Creating a consistent design language throughout all of our work is an essential goal for us. We are proud of what we have done, but we still have so much more to do. Below are photos that highlight the process from tree to table.
Sustainably Sourced in Malawi, Africa
Our enormous African Mahogany slab, like all of our slabs, has been sustainably sourced in Lilongwe, Malawi. It will soon become several beautiful dining room size live edge tables. We only use trees that have naturally fallen due to age or weather conditions. Each slab has been milled by hand, sanded by hand, fumigated and heat treated before it touches U.S. soil. Each slab has proper permits from the Malawi Minister of Forestry, CITES (an organization that oversees rare wood species) and the USDA.
Like all of our work, each piece from the Mahogany slab will be unique- no two pieces are the same. Malawi is part of the great rift valley and its flora and fauna are extremely rare, some of which are not found anywhere else in the world. The African Mahogany tables will enrich ones home by providing a distinguishing look to any dining area. Malawian Mahogany is amongst the rarest and most valuable woods in the world.
All of our products are natural and variations might occur, the cracks and blemishes are part of the natural features and character of the wood. Our lead woodworker Feston oversees all operations pertaining to handcrafting the very best pieces of rare wood including: Acacia, African Mahogany, African Blackwood, African Teak, Jacaranda and Malaina.
A crew of workers moving our African Mahogany tree from the woodland to our storage space in Lilongwe.
Choosing only the best cuts from some of the rarest trees in the world.
These "cookie" slabs will soon become beautiful coffee tables and end tables filled with resin and a stone inlay.
Completely hand crafted Mahogany, Malaina and Teak bowls.
Feston showing us our sustainably sourced African Blackwood tree. Closely related to the African Ebony, it is known by experts in the industry as one of the most rare and expensive species of wood in the world.
The very distinctively colored sapwood, heartwood and bark of the African Blackwood tree.
Our staff in a village in Lilongwe milling the African Blackwood tree.
Our lead woodworker Feston assessing the milled African Blackwood slabs. We were able to get 7 very large slabs from the tree that was salvaged about 30 minutes outside of Lilongwe. From those 7 slabs we will create 6 dining room tables and 1 coffee table. Once it is in America in the spring of 2019, they will be the only known collection of African Blackwood tables on the market.