Laurie Wiid van Heerden established his studio, Wiid Design, in Cape Town in 2013. Often working collaboratively with other artists and across a wide variety of materials, Laurie’s product range spans furniture, lighting, tableware and collectible objects that combine specialist manufacturing with handcrafting.
The studio has become well-known for its innovative use of cork in high-end product design, architecture and large-scale production manufacturing. Recognised as an African “ambassador” for cork by Portuguese producer Amorim, Laurie has pushed the boundaries of the material to achieve a number of world “firsts” – including the world’s largest cork pendant light and cork cabinet, both of which have been exhibited by Southern Guild.
Laurie Wiid’s work comes from a conceptual and artistic environment, an angle on various topics of contemporary culture, with a focus on traditional handcrafting in combination with avant-garde techniques. By combining handcrafting and specialist techniques, Wiid transforms materials into life-enriching and durable objet d’art.
Laurie opted for a hands-on approach to studying design and manufacturing. He apprenticed to Otto du Plessis and Charles Haupt at Bronze Age Foundry as well as to a carpenter for three years, and from 2009 to 2013 he worked closely with leading South African sculptor Wim Botha as his assistant. During this time, he started designing and manufacturing his own ceramics and furniture and collaborating with fellow creatives.