Furnishings and home decor – Winner 2020
Made in Calgary
The best functional objects are as beautiful as they are useful. That’s the guiding principle behind Natural Collection, a handcrafted instrument stand company based in Calgary.
Operated out of Caleb Blake’s garage, Natural Collection began as a hobby but has grown into a business. The company produces performing stools, wall hangers and floor stands for guitars and ukuleles.
The guitar stands are made from raw walnut or maple — Blake’s favourite woods — that he cuts, fastens, sands, glues and finishes with oil before he adds a soft, renewable type of cork for protective padding. All told, it takes about 12 hours of labour, or 52 repeats of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird,” to make each stand.
Blake, a guitar player, says the durability and design of Natural Collection’s work sets it apart. Typically mass-produced as a near-afterthought, the average guitar stand is a victim of planned obsolescence and made with no regard for aesthetic pleasure. Natural Collection’s stands are meant to last a lifetime and Blake’s creations bring out the natural beauty of the wood. The curvature of the stands and the luminous sheen covering the rich grain possess a sensual quality.
“I’ve had a couple people say ‘wow, I never thought a guitar stand could be so sexy.’ That right there hits the nail on the head for me,” says Blake. “I love musical instruments and I think they’re great pieces of art to have around the house. I wanted to make a stand that was equally beautiful — if not more beautiful.” —C.G.
Photograph: Jared Sych | Writer: Colin Gallant
FURNISHINGS & HOME DECOR WINNER AND RUNNERS-UP 2020
Made in Alberta Awards
The Made in Alberta Awards celebrate great Alberta products, businesses and ingenuity. By highlighting Alberta-made products through a variety of channels, including digital, in print and in person, the Made in Alberta Awards program supports and promotes local businesses and encourages people to shop local.
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