Werner, our artist and founder, currently enjoying himself in our studio, focusing on one of the pieces from our new collection.

I was born on the 11th of August 1970 in South Africa on a small farm on the crocodile river, in the province of Transvaal, now known as Gauteng. After completing school, I went into military service as it was mandatory back then. I made the best of these two years. Given that I had grown up on a farm with my own horses, I was chosen, after basic infantry training, to go to the equestrian division where I qualified as a blacksmith and farrier. This is something that I still enjoy doing to this today, as I still own a horse. I also currently volunteer my services at horse and cart rescue centres in Cape Town whenever I can. I really love the hard physical and manual work and it’s a great distraction from painting every day.

After completing my national service, my desire for exploration took me to Europe, Asia and South America. I spent the next two years exploring these continents. During this period, I started practicing my art skills more regularly by painting t-shirts and other oddities to supplement my backpacking budget. Art had always been an important part of my life (and my favourite subject at school) but at that stage of my life, I never thought that it would become my life’s work. Thankfully, I was wrong.

Upon my return to South Africa, I enrolled at the University of Johannesburg (RAU) where I completed a four year degree in Accounting and Financial Management.  After a decade of working in the financial and information technology sector for the likes of KPMG and Anglo American, I finally ‘made it’ and was appointed as the Financial Director of a large international IT company. I never felt fully fulfilled and was always thinking about painting and of becoming an artist.

I kept on painting throughout the years, mostly as a hobby. By coincidence, I was invited to an emerging artist exhibition. That night changed my life forever as I had a sold out exhibit, and people also commissioned me to do more. I knew I was doing something right.

It took me another year to finally make the decision to pursue an artistic, creative passion – completely the opposite of what I had been doing for most of my life. Jokingly, I often say that I reached my mid-life crisis at a very early age.

At first, I exhibited in several galleries and upmarket interior design stores around South Africa. In 2006, I opened my first gallery. Then approximately a year later, I opened my second gallery. Then came the third and the fourth. My galleries were located throughout South Africa in Cape Town, Clarens, Knysna and the Kruger National Park. We achieved great support from local South African art enthusiasts, tourists, hotels, private resorts and the corporate world.

I would estimate that more than 50% of our client base was international as all the galleries were strategically opened in highly visited tourist areas. If I have to guess, my art has literally been shipped to every corner of the world, something of which I am very proud.

For ten years, I created enough pieces to supply the four galleries by working non-stop. I created a lot of many smaller wooden pieces and traditional canvas work that were far less labour intensive than the pieces I create today.

The workload and pressure took its toll and I realised that owning galleries wasn’t in my artistic and business interests anymore. I wanted to focus all my energy on creating one of a kind, timeless art pieces. I was tired of trying to satisfy such a large market and rather wanted to meet the demands of sophisticated art enthusiasts who were searching for art that was truly special.

It took me approximately two years to sell all four galleries. I then decided to embark on a one year sabbatical for personal and spiritual development. It ended up being three years. It was during this time that I thought deeply about my future in the art world.

Today, I am pleased to announce that my art business is flourishing and I am enjoying my life as an artist more than ever. I have a great team behind me and with their assistance, I have rebranded and developed a new, cutting edge website in order to market my work online. I only create 1.50m (59″) wooden round art pieces in various original designs. These pieces are created once only and are never replicated. 

I often get asked, why the round wooden pieces? Firstly, the circle represents the circle of life, everyone eventually returns to their point of origin. Secondly, it encompasses my ethos of sustainability and ‘touching the earth lightly’ as the entire creation process is done by hand using recycled 100% sustainable materials. Thirdly, the unique curve and round bowl-like shape provides so much more depth that cannot be achieved by a traditional flat surface. And lastly, the finish we achieve through the highly lacquered and polishing process leaves one with the impression that the pieces are made from glass.

To sum up my work in one sentence…”In a world with so many linear lines, we need some roundness”.