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I walked around the workshop today. It’s quite small- around 300 square meters. The walls are lined with wooden planks of different shades and textures, all ready to be taken apart and put together into something new. Then it got me wondering, what else have other creatives made out of it?

I’d recently been gifted a beautiful wooden ring so the first thing that comes to mind, is jewelry. A simple search and the power of the internet led me to Amado Gudek, founded by Elaine Tan. One of her original collections, dubbed Drift Away focused on combining resin pieces with wooden pieces of different colors, shapes and combinations. I scrolled through the stunning pictures of the jewelry for sale. The ocean waves in the background seemed to highlight even more, the beauty of the natural materials she’d used.

Photo by Irfan Rosli

Written in her blog (, the caption explains that she had used actual driftwood pieces called Mopani Wood, and incorporated its raw natural form into resin blocks of different sizes and lengths, to be made into earrings and pendant necklaces. It instantly made me want to purchase it; because wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a small piece of nature wherever you go, reminiscent of the driftwood you could find at white sandy beaches?

But the search must go on. Then I thought, what about in our homes? The obvious answer spans from coffee tables, cupboards, study desks, to perhaps flooring. But try to think of something around the same scope or size as personalized jewelry, and I think about the cutting boards in my mother’s kitchen and smoothie bowls holding elaborate fruit smoothies and bite sized foods strategically placed across a cheese platter I’d often see on my Instagram feed. I scrolled past the food compilations, adding cutlery and home accessories to the list.

Photo by Irfan Rosli

It only struck me now that what made these pictures so Instagram-worthy were the hues of warm brown that brightened the color of dark pink dragon fruit smoothies and complemented nicely the stringy texture of cheese slices being pulled apart. It hadn’t occurred to me that wood could make food look so appetizing. Other than providing a warm ambience, an array of wooden cutleries, if strategically used, could make a meal more appetizing.

I take a break from the scrolling and look around me instead, at the shelves that hold different bottles of varnishes and the massive board on the wall that holds all of the tools the team uses in a neat arrangement. There’s Urban Salvation’s signage at the top of the board; formed in the shape of a skateboard.

I ask Ahmad curiously, “Why a skateboard?”

“We wanted to make a display piece incorporating wood bending and wood carving into one piece, as practice. So, it turned into a skateboard.”

The slab of wood took a life of its own.


Photos by Irfan Rosli (@_roniin)

Location: Urban Salvation Main Gallery

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