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