Woodcraft in the Philipines #4: the designers and makers

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Blog entry by kiwi1969 posted 04-08-2009 10:10 AM 8999 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Logging Part 4 of Woodcraft in the Philipines series Part 5: vigan style »

It,s been said that the Philippines has the best designers in all Asia. Whereas the bulk of the furniture industry follows each other like sheep producing copies of copies, there are some who think outside the box. The best of those are part of Movement 8 that burst on the scene in 1999 led by Budji Layug who,s site can be viewed here. These guys mix wood and natural fibres and their use of bamboo is clever and bold.
If modern mixed media or Bamboo doesn,t float your boat then maybe the work of Benji reyes will
Reyes only uses recycled timbers and if you like the work of Nakashima and Maloof then you will need to add this guy to your list. His work sells for a premium in upmarket gallerys and to see a peice in the flesh is something special indeed.There isn,t much on the net about him but you can see more here.
Another fine maker is based in the old spanish town of Vigan (below), which is a must see town if you ever get the chance.
Vigan future heirlooms makes some of the best quality locally made peices that I have seen since i,ve lived here. The fit and finish is world class and you can see more on his website and try to spot the copy of the Greene and Greene writing desk from the Gamble house.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

8 comments so far

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 3911 days

#1 posted 04-08-2009 11:26 AM

Thanks for posting this. I find the work of Benji Reyes particularly extraordinary ( for my taste)! He should be much better known in the woodworking community.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View jlsmith5963's profile


297 posts in 3345 days

#2 posted 04-08-2009 05:09 PM

the Budji posted above doesn’t work but a quick google produced this link

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3438 days

#3 posted 04-09-2009 01:41 AM

jlsmith Original link is right but for some reason won,t work. The Thai retail site is actually better anyway. Thanks for that.

socal I,ve been using recycled timbers for the last 15 yrs and have to say I really prefer it over new wood, I like your projects as well.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View manilaboy's profile


177 posts in 3932 days

#4 posted 04-09-2009 09:33 AM

Hi Everyone,

Again I can only agree that Filipinos are one of the most gifted designers in Asia. This time culture is a positive contributor. You will be able to glean Spanish, Chinese, Indian and Malay influences in these pieces. The early Filipinos have been trading with the Chinese and Indians even before the Spaniards came. That early interaction had greatly contributed to how we look at things and how we express it. After a hundred years, the Philippines is now highly americanized. We are now the third largest English speaking nation in the world. We now eat hamburgers, groove to rap music, watch Oprah etc.


-- "Real jocks do it on a bench"

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3438 days

#5 posted 04-09-2009 02:17 PM

hi manilaboy, you forgot to mention basketball is the national obsession. I guess I should have noted the outside influences as well, thanks for bringing that up.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View manilaboy's profile


177 posts in 3932 days

#6 posted 04-10-2009 03:05 AM

Hehehe. Yeah! Any little open space under a tree that can hold a makeshift basketball goal will do!

-- "Real jocks do it on a bench"

View Benji Reyes's profile

Benji Reyes

331 posts in 3075 days

#7 posted 12-21-2009 04:19 PM

Hi Daryl, Thanks for the nice comment on my works. i just joined Lumber jocks. Merry Christmas!!!

-- Benji Reyes, Antipolo, Philippines,

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4397 days

#8 posted 12-21-2009 05:01 PM

Great post. Thanks for the info.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

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