Artist Diane Husson turns over a brand new leaf.

Ceramist turned fake bois creator, Diane Husson fashions eye-tricking items spun of metal and cement, fanciful tables, chairs, and benches that seem as if they’re crafted from wooden. The centuries-old approach, fake bois—French for “false wood”—isn’t extensively practiced lately, which makes Husson’s handiwork all of the extra compelling.

Faux bois consists of a metal armature coated in cement. Although Husson is snug working with clay, she “needed to learn how to weld steel” as soon as she set her sights on fake bois. “I needed to learn the basics of furniture design, too,” she notes. And, after all, cement.

“The field of decorative concrete was like the Wild West, with all kinds of products on the market. The one thing I had going for me was that I was such a complete outsider that I was not clinging to any one way of doing things.”

For all of the technical calls for of Husson’s work, it’s the language of nature that actually speaks to her. “I believe that trees and forests are constantly whispering their ancient tales. The more I listen to their stories and merge them into my own inner vision, the more compelled I am to create.”

This article initially appeared within the August 2021 challenge.

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