Adam Birch’s fascination and experience with timber as a medium is multi-faceted. From the unique forms and wood grain of each tree, he carves functional pieces of sculpture, most often transforming the discarded forks of trees into sensuously curved seats.
His work is part of a curated collection of bespoke furniture and sculptures at Xigera, by more than 30 African artists and craftsmen, including Andile Dyalvane, Dokter and Misses, Dylan Lewis, Porky Hefer and Ardmore Ceramics. These exceptional one-off works of art and design have been created by Africa’s most globally recognised names, in collaboration with award-winning gallery Southern Guild, from gleaming hand-forged copper and steel consoles by Conrad Hicks, to Adam Birch’s tactile creations carved right on-site.
Adam grew up on a large farm outside Cape Town, South Africa, and his love of trees began as a child, playing in the forests. After his studies, he became a tree surgeon, and began to work in his spare time with pieces from the dead trees he was cutting down, transforming them into innovative sculpted furniture. His pieces embody a minimalist function as chairs, day beds, benches and tables in sculptural forms that bring out the beauty inherent in each piece of wood. As a result, each piece is unique, each one a re-incarnation of the tree, each one a tribute to nature.
Adam recently commenced his work at Xigera – the beginning of what will be months spent at the Lodge. He is also generously dedicating his time to teach some of our team members how to work with the wood. Alongside Tirafalo our carpenter, we are so proud that two of our polers, Oscar and Brandon, have been given the opportunity to learn these new skills from Adam.
Our photo journal below follows the start of this journey, as he works with fallen knobthorn and mangosteen trees to hand-carve benches and chairs that will twist and fold and gently hold the sitter…