Imperfections are what make wood turning artist, Louis Hartley’s work captivatingly beautiful and unique.

Specialising in exclusive handcrafted decor, serving and focus pieces, his creations have created a stir in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province with his commissioned work admired, amongst other, by the local interior design fraternity and hospitality industry.

A medical doctor by profession Louis stumbled upon woodturning by chance just a few years ago. On seeing how a laith and a chisel magically transformed a simple wood off-cut into something magnificent motivated him to give the artform a try.

A mixture of skill and talent combined with YouTube, art books and some tips from a world renowned woodturner resulted in Louis becoming transfixed in the artform and today he transforms a bland piece of indigenous wood into an exclusive, fascinating piece.

Louis is a nature lover with deep respect for the environment and sources wood in a responsible and sustainable way.

Wood from fallen trees, indigenous to South Africa’s Lowveld region, including Kiaat, Mopani, Jakkalberry and Matumi are amongst his favourites.

While many woodturners prefer to work with perfect pieces of wood, Louis finds inspiration in the natural flaws of the wood he sources.

Bug holes, natural inclusions, decay or any other imperfections form part of his creation.

A fellow turner refers to this as “listening to the wood”-a strategy which allows him to constantly create exclusive, eye-catching pieces of art.

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