Klooftique is a proud stockist of Jacques Cronje’s Minima range of pendant lights. When he isn’t creating beautiful lighting (and furniture) that we covet, Jacques designs and builds stylish, eco-conscious timber homes. Visit timberdesign.co.za to see more on his work.
What inspired you to create the Minima range of lighting and furniture?
I started getting excited about more organic design some time ago and wanted to incorporate curves and natural shapes into my work. I’ve become increasingly inspired by the endless possibilities of digital fabrication which really is opening the doors to more organic shapes – a marriage of curved shapes inspired by nature and technology. It seemed logical then to start experimenting at a smaller scale and this led to my first piece, the Minima stool. I love working with wood and enjoy the technical aspects of design and my intent with the lighting was to develop a light made entirely of wood – cut to one size and with its structure exposed – that could clip together without the need for any metal fixing or glue.
What wood do you use for the Minima range?
The Minima stool is made from SA Pine plywood, and the lighting, which has very fine cuts for the joints, required a wood with a much finer grain so I’m using Birch plywood. I wanted a wood without too much visible grain, as the feature is the light reflected off the wood rather than the actual wood itself.
Top money-saving design tip?
Once you are beyond the initial freedom of the concept sketches, it’s importance to understand what materials you are going to use and how you are going to actually make your product. A great looking design that later turns out to require a difficult-to-obtain size or type of material is going to lead to costly suprises in the manufacturing stage. And a lot of time redesigning!
Favourite product designer?
Definitely David Trubridge from New Zealand. I love the symmetry and delicately patterned shapes he creates and the strong element of craft in his work. And the lightness he achieves by working with really fine pieces of wood, both in his furniture and his lighting.
The work of Miller Hull in the States (particularly their earlier work at a smaller, residential scale) for their use of simple, natural materials and showing things as they are; wood remains clear wood and concrete done off-shutter. I’m also inspired by the work of Glenn Murcutt from Australia who has consistently focused on his mantra of ‘touching the earth lightly’.
I am a big fan of the work of Matthias Pliessnig, for his organic shapes made by carefully steaming and bending wood, though these are benches, not chairs. Actually, I am more of a fan of benches than chairs, so I would say those are my favourite benches. I also love the Ingvar Chair by Pederson and Lennard, for its simplicity and clear expression of how it’s constructed.
Which film can you watch again and again?
The only film I’ve seen more than twice is ‘The Big Blue’ by Luc Besson. I just loved the visual feast and the soundtrack. I can’t even remember how many times I’ve seen it.
Which dish would you cook to impress dinner guests?
I recently did an Indian cooking course at Masala Dosa on the basics of Indian spices, so I’d be trying out those newly acquired skills!
What music gets you out of your (favourite) chair to dance?
I’m currently listening to Royksopp, which is more foot tapping or bop-while-still-on-your-chair than get up and dance. I tend to listen to one artist solidly for a week or so, then move on to the next but put on Get a Move On by Mr Scruff and I’ll be up and dancing anytime.
Who is your hero?
My wife, Rebecca. Her energy, enthusiasm and drive are boundless. She is an endless source of inspiration for me.