The Cartagenas Natural coffee table makes a perfect companion to any lounge area. Designed by Sebastian Herkner, the piece features rounded corners and a slightly oval frame that gently tapers towards the base. Their curved aesthetic corresponds perfectly with the chairs of the series, while these tables will also liven up any seating area with exciting colours. In this version, the intricate, hand-woven wickerwork is made with the fibres of the Yure liana. Traditionally used in Colombia to make baskets, our artisans weave the naturally beige threads into an artistic webbing. This collection is an ode to Cartagena, the lively coastal metropolis on Colombia's Caribbean coast. It has long been an energetic melting-pot, where Colombia’s diverse ethnic communities live side-by-side, creating a city landscape where various cultural backgrounds merge with each other. When walking through its streets and alleyways, new colours, patterns, and perspectives await behind every corner – just like these pieces reveal a new side from every angle. The designs come with table tops made from either marble or mirrored metal – both materials create a calming harmony with the wickerwork. Also available in an outdoor version made with recycled PVC strings.
All pieces of the Cartagenas Natural collection are made in our ateliers, where members of different generations of families have become masters in the traditional Colombian craft of weaving the bejuco and wicker. These workshops are located in Bogota, the country’s capital, and also in Quindio, the coffee-growing province. The material used to create the webbing is called Yare, a liana plant that only grows on old, majestic trees in Colombia’s rainforests, where the temperature averages 28 degrees throughout the year. It requires special skills to harvest and process the lianas into strings that the ames artisans can use to weave the Cartagenas pieces. Only lianas with roots reaching the ground can be cut. With the continuing deforestation in Colombia, finding such old specimens is increasingly difficult. After harvesting a Yare liana by hand, it is cooked in salt water for about two hours. This process lightens the colour of the lianas and softens the barks, making it easier for the workers to remove them, which happens next. The liana roots are then hung up to dry in the sun for two days. In the next step, the craftspeople cut the lianas with a sharp knife into thinner strips. Depending on the size of the product, this ranges from two to four strips. These strips can then be used by the weavers, who traditionally would create baskets with them. For ames, the artisans use Yare to make contemporary furniture pieces like the Cartagenas Natural chairs and tables.
German designer Sebastian Herkner is a long-term collaborator of ames and has visited Colombia multiple times to experience the country's cities, nature and people first-hand. He also visited many of the ateliers that ames has partnered with to learn about the unique traditional crafts of Colombia's regions. A sought-after contemporary designer and recipient of many industry awards, he has worked with many international design brands, creating intriguing pieces that showcase his intuition for interesting material, colour and texture combinations.