Jan Hendzel’s Bowater Collection Highlights the Beauty of British Timber

South London-based furniture brand Jan Hendzel Studio has recently released its first-ever full collection, Bowater. Comprising nine pieces, the collection highlights the beauty of homegrown British timber, celebrates British craftsmanship and champions ideals about sustainability in design work. Bowater consists of a chest of drawers, stools, side tables, shelving, a work desk, a media unit, desk tidies/trays and other decorative objects. Only British woods were used in this collection, including olive ash, Sycamore and two other new materials called ‘Baked’ Ash and ‘Baked’ Sycamore that have undergone a Thermo modification process that makes the wood more durable. Throughout the collection, a signature ripple is replicated as a playful detail that showcases the studio’s skilled craftsmanship.

The Bowater Chest of Drawers is made from solid wood and features four drawers, one of which hides a ripple liner for storing accessories.

The offcuts from the collection are used to create desk tidies and trays that work with the furniture or as standalone, decorative objects. For example, the trays fit snuggly in the top drawer using their rippled undersides. For the waste that are unsuitable for the studio, they are donated to a local charity called Men in Sheds in Eltham, an organization affiliated with Age UK that encourages older men to come together in a space where they are comfortable and carry out activities that benefit the local community.

The Cable Shop Stool, named after the Woolwich’s Cable Shop warehouse and insured by the chamfered piers of the 1937 shop, comes in two different sizes.

The media unit features dovetail joinery, ‘Baked’ Ash rippled sliding doors, two adjustable shelves, hand-turned handles and integrated cable access. In a large piece like this one, the grain of the wood can be easily appreciated.

By sourcing within UK borders and only using British wood for this collection, the studio makes a case for this new material palette. The deep, warm umber tones are reminiscent of exotic woods in luxury products but are instead home-grown. The spectrum of colors, from burnt umber to black walnut, makes the collection versatile for different environments.