Pia-Maria Raeder in her studio.
Photo: Jann Averwerser

How Pia-Maria Raeder Creates Anemone-Like Furnishings from Beechwood

The German artist’s collection reflects the beauty found on the ocean floor

At a glance, the works of German artist Pia-Maria Raeder resemble white coral that might have washed up on a beach in an exotic locale. But a closer inspection reveals that the organic, undulating shapes of her Sea Anemone collection of furniture, lighting, and mirrors are created with thousands of beechwood rods that she cuts and arranges by hand in her studio in Munich.

Pia-Maria Raeder’s Sea Anemones Family—three side tables and two sculptures—are made from 29,000 lacquered beech rods with a brass top. Photo: Alain Cornu, courtesy of Galerie BSL

Largely self-taught, Raeder was inspired to take time off from a successful career as a broadcast journalist and “start dreaming” after her mother’s death. “I wanted to create something that was an abstract interpretation of nature in a way that did not yet exist,” she recalls.

Pia-Maria Raeder, Sea Anemone 10, 2017. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Galerie BSL

In the spring of 2016, she approached Parisian gallerist Béatrice Saint-Laurent of Galerie BSL, who was immediately smitten and describes Raeder’s pieces as having a “magic and emotional intriguing beauty.” Saint-Laurent debuted the collection at PAD London later that year and sold numerous pieces, including a seven-foot standing mirror that has 75,000 beech rods and took 18 weeks to craft. 

Pia-Maria Raeder, Sea Anemone 9 Armchair, 2017. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Galerie BSL

Recommended: How Steven Haulenbeek Creates Otherworldly Furnishings from Ice

A pair of Raeder’s sea anemone-inspired floor lamp sculptures. Photo: Alain Cornu, courtesy of Galerie BSL

Raeder still cannot entirely believe her success. “Every time I go to a fair, I cry for the first five minutes,” she admits. “I am still overwhelmed.”

A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2019 Summer issue under the headline Sunken Treasure. Subscribe to the magazine.

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