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Discover Benelux |  Special Theme |  Design

on delivery date and cost.” All woodwork, and a large part of the steelwork, is made under BLOK’s own management. “We can do  it  all:  the  design,  planning  and  implementation up to installation,” she adds.

History “I trained in Amsterdam as a traditional furniture  maker  with  all  the  traditional skills before moving to Eindhoven for my first  job,”  says  Maurice  Blok.  After  running  the  product  development  department for Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek, it was time for him and Van Gestel to start a place of their own, with their own signature. Ever since, they have built up a company  that  offers  solutions  from  design to installation. Where Blok is trained as a carpenter, Van Gestel is a completely different story; she graduated at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. How does someone go from fashion  to  furniture?  “I  started  working  at BLOK immediately after my graduation. I did not know what I wanted to do, and Maurice offered me a job.” She laughs, “I started  at  the  bottom;  sanding  the wood.” Ten years later she’s the one that programmes  the  milling  machine  and handles  project  management.  “That  is what  sets  us  apart;  and  on  a  personal level it makes each day different.”

Signature

porches  and  from  classic  armchairs  to robust steel outdoor pizza ovens. BLOK also makes a ‘trip to the art world’ once or twice a year. Often collaborating with an artist, they have also designed multiple pieces of art themselves. Like a 2.5 metre  tall  clock.  BLOK  launched  their own line of interior products a few years ago, and the collection is steadily growing.

“We  bring  out  the  essential  quality  of materials  by  starting  with  their  true form,”  says  Blok.  The  designs  range from custom built interiors, to solid oak

Current  CAD  technology  goes  hand  in hand  with  skilled  craftsmanship.  At  the Dutch Design Week last year BLOK pre-

sented a series of ‘beer tables’: sturdy outdoor  benches  and  tables  crafted  out  of thick oak planks. The wood is beautifully carved by the computer-controlled milling machine, revealing intricate flower patterns. “Working with solid wood is not easy. It is a living, breathing material with character  and  imperfections,  just  like  people,” says Blok. “It requires planning and craftsmanship  to  shape  a  piece,  which comes  straight  out  of  a  tree.  Anyone who’s  taken  a  good  look  at  a  plywood table  covered  with  veneer  agrees  that something is lost in translation.” Van  Gestel:  “We  actually  developed  our own method of treating plywood, to bring out what we felt was lost in mass production and standardization in a recent set of cabinets like the Peacock and Dragon cabinets. The best part of the profession is creating beautiful things. Seeing a thought or idea  made  into  reality  is  incredible.  It  all starts in our minds and at the end there is a tangible and useable product.” www.blokmeubel.nl

Pizza oven from high tensile steel 

Playtime clock

Dragon cabinet

Issue 12 |  December 2014 |  45

Profile for Scan Client Publishing

Discover Benelux | Issue 12 | December 2014  

Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Discover Benelux | Issue 12 | December 2014  

Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.