[Image credit: Daniel Omondi – Rocking Chair]
A few weeks ago I featured a beautifully carved wooden table adorned with East African inspired motifs, courtesy of Vermont Wood Studios a community of local carvers, the Africa Sofa Table as I have now found out was carved by Daniel Omondi, a master carver from Kenya who was raised in a family of woodcarvers, learning his trade at age thirteen in his father’s award-winning workshop in Mombasa, Kenya. Following in the steps of his father and grandfather Daniel inherited the workshop, moving to the USA in 2001 where he established his workshop in the artisanal community of Brattleboro, Vermont; a place resided in for eight years before relocating to New Orleans.
Using woods native to Kenya such as Bambakofe and Mvole to complement the local Cherry, Walnut and Maple Daniel’s work is traditional; solid wood furniture. The type that lasts a lifetime, handed down through generations and is a showcase of Daniel’s successful transition to woodworking in the USA, attributed to the blend of East African style with that of the rural Vermont woodcarving heritage, and has seen his work displayed in galleries across the North East of the country. Characterised by his beautifully detailed carving, Daniel brings the intricate patterns and motifs of Kenya to the austere forms of the New England Shaker style, resulting in some unique pieces of furniture. Daniel is influenced by the complex geometrics and floral motifs that have adorned homes doors and furniture along the East African coast since the sixteenth century, designs that are steeped in a rich cultural and religious heritage that can be traced back to Oman and India.
A move to New Orleans came about as a way of helping the City recover after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. From his workshop, Daniel works with salvaged materials and also restores antique and heirloom furniture. Daniel offers clients a bespoke design service for those looking to create individual pieces enhanced with his intricate carving skills.
…carving out a tradition
For further information about Daniel Omondi and for order enquiries visit: http://omondiodhunooriginals.com