Monica Förster designs hand-carved furniture for Zanat

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"Bosnian handicraft meets Scandinavian design" in Monica Förster's range for Zanat

Stockholm designer Monica Förster has created wooden furniture and accessories for Bosnian company Zanat, using a hand-carving technique that could soon become protected by UNESCO (+ slideshow).

Monica Förster Design Studio for Zanat

The collection comprises a dining chair, a shelving and cabinet system, and a series of bowls, developed as part of Monica Förster's role as design director for Bosnian company Zanat.

Monica Förster Design Studio for Zanat

"The collection comes from a multidisciplinary context where Bosnian handicraft meets Scandinavian design," Förster told Dezeen.

Monica Förster Design Studio for Zanat

The pieces are all carved by hand from oak, maple, ash, cherry, walnut and elm using a special set of tools. Unique to the company, this traditional practice is a candidate for the 2015 UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage List – which identifies cultural skills and techniques in urgent need of preservation.

Monica Förster Design Studio for Zanat

Förster's designs are shaped using three sets of knives and chisels, and the products are patterned with indentations to demonstrate the technique.

Monica Förster Design Studio for Zanat

"For the wood-carving motifs we were inspired by water flow and movement," said Förster, who named the furniture items after Bosnian rivers.

Monica Förster Design Studio for Zanat

"Our aim was to bring a feeling of lightness to solid and plain wood, using thin edges and slender structures," she added.

Monica Förster Design Studio for Zanat

The Unna dining chair is decorated with optional scallop-shaped carvings on the back of the seat, available with a natural or stained finish, and with or without a moulded leather cushion.

Monica Förster Design Studio for Zanat

"Finding inspiration in nature, we have modernised Zanat's traditional carvings, preserving the genuine technique," said Förster.

Monica Förster Design Studio for Zanat

The Tara storage system includes freestanding shelves and a cabinet in different heights. They can be used singly or in combination, and against a wall or as a room divider. Each cabinet can be personalised with abstract hand-carved patterns based on Zanat's craft techniques.

Monica Förster Design Studio for Zanat

"The aim was to show the exquisite craftsmanship of Zanat in the fine joinery and in the unique hand-carving techniques," said a statement from the brand.

Monica Förster Design Studio for Zanat

Circular bowls sit on rounded stands that feature repeating patterns improvised by Zanat's wood carvers. The containers are available in various heights and widths.

Monica Förster Design Studio for Zanat

The collection was launched at Stockholm Design Week 2015 earlier this year as part of Sarajevo Sessions: Scandinavian Designers Discover Bosnian Handicraft. The exhibition took place at Stockholms Auktionsverk – the world's oldest auction house and a part of Lauritz auction houses.