How many people in your life can honestly say they have the fanciest, yet original cutting board or coolest handmade glasses? Forget about them - can you? We can and it’s all thanks to two particular brands that, just like us, try to be innovative and unique while keeping that perfect mix of traditional and modern. Their weapon of choice: wood. Their method of work: love.
Here are two short stories about local entrepreneurship that swept us off our feet, as we’re sure you too will fall in love with these wooden masterpieces.
Cutting board as an artwork
From a natural beauty standpoint, Bosnia and Herzegovina is well-known for its abundance of water and wood resources. While you can’t quite use water for creative purposes (none that we can think of, anyway), wood has traditionally been a key element of craftsmanship in these parts. Perhaps one of its main strongholds is Konjic, a small town just on the brink of the imaginative line separating Bosnia from Herzegovina, where woodcarving has been a staple since the 19th century. That’s the birthplace of WagaWood, a brand that brings out the best when it comes to mixing traditional cuisine, wood, and crafts.
WagaWood is one of those special brands that you can’t help but admire and love for its artistry and vision to create something so captivating, yet simple as cutting boards. Traditional woodcarving has a long history in Konjic municipality and local community’s culture. Furniture, interiors (walls, ceilings) and small decorative objects stand out for their recognizable hand-carved motifs and overall visual identity, so much so that it’s now part of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage program. Being a part of that traditional landscape is what makes WagaWood special, as well as the dedication and effort put in to make this 100% natural and eco-friendly.
Each piece takes approximately 30 hours to complete and although it’s made out of different local wood types (walnut, maple, oak, cherry), it’s important to mention that WagaWood’s cutting boards don’t affect the environment in terms of the ever-present deforestation. The material comes in the form of industrial waste - small wooden planks that were leftovers in the making of different furniture and large wood-based products.
These cutting boards, intended for both preparing and serving food, represent the symbiosis between modern design and local tradition. Seemingly innocuous in everyday use, this kitchen apparel design-wise interprets traditional patterns in a fresh, modern take, borrowing ideas from everyday life while retaining its original function. WagaWood brings a small piece of tradition and heritage in a widely accepted form (both in terms of size and price), providing access to exquisite craftsmanship previously reserved almost exclusively for the upper class due to the high cost and scale of such intricate work. It’s no wonder these cutting boards are one of our best-selling gifts: you can check out WagaWood’s products here and here.
Looking at life a little bit different
Like so many good things in life, this story starts with music, when a passionate guitar player had a breakthrough idea: to make his own guitar. One thing led to another and woodcrafting became the central focus, slowly creating a wide range of wooden products, until a need for that perfect balance of natural look, beauty of design and quality lead him to make his own glasses.
That’s how Dawood and wooden eyeglasses came to be, out of sheer love for the crafts and need to go against the grain of what’s popular and trendy. For Dawood, the point is to have something that stands out every day, every month of the year. Each piece takes roughly two weeks to make, with the majority being spent on detailing the frame to make it lightweight and durable. These include both sunglasses and prescription glasses.
In the spirit of natural preservation, Dawood’s wooden eyewear is an eco-friendly, completely handcrafted, all-natural product made out of a wide variety of both domestic and foreign wood types: your regular walnut, plain and flame maple, plum and cherry, as well as some of the more exotic species such as padouk, sapele, mahogany, zebrawood and wenge. Eyeglasses are made from solid wood, using air-dried (5+ years) variety as a starting point, as opposed to stacking and gluing wood veneer together for a cheaper and easier process. This makes them more demanding but more durable and satisfying, with the finished product saturated with natural oils and beeswax.
When Dawood approached us, we were amazed. Wooden eyeglasses - that’s not something you see every day, and certainly so well-made as these. Sure, wooden glasses have been going on for a few years now, but what makes Dawood’s eyewear eye-catching is the production quality and timeless design that appeals even to the most demanding tastes. If you want to be a proud owner of these bad boys, click here.
A good deal of fashion is design, applying a sense of aesthetics and natural beauty to various clothing and accessories. Whether it’s influenced by cultural, social or other attitudes, the design is important but in the case of WagaWood and Dawood, there’s also something else.
As a natural material, wood isn’t harmful and comes without toxic chemicals, whether it’s serving food or wearing it on your face. Think about it: you often prepare your meals (the stuff you live off) on unhealthy materials such as PE (polyethylene) and chemically-fused bamboo boards or wear cheap $5/$10 plastic glasses made with who-knows-what chemicals and residues. That’s the bad part globalization brings, and it doesn’t make sense to conform if you have any choice in the matter.
Handmade crafts are the hardest to pull off yet most valuable. For WagaWood and Dawood, each and every wooden piece is a challenge and something special: a glimpse of how woodcarving was back in the day on one side and an example of how far it’s progressed today on the other. The best part is - both have their place in today’s market because both are unique in their own way. At Bazerdžan, we are more than proud to work with these two remarkable brands and supporting them means keeping the local heritage and tradition alive while embracing the modern into it. That’s what we’re about.
For Sarajevo, with love