Branching Out

Artist Diane Husson turns over a new leaf.

Ceramist turned faux bois creator, Diane Husson fashions eye-tricking pieces spun of steel and cement, fanciful tables, chairs, and benches that appear as if they are crafted from wood. The centuries-old technique, faux bois—French for “false wood”—isn’t widely practiced these days, which makes Husson’s handiwork all the more compelling.

Faux bois consists of a steel armature covered in cement. Although Husson is comfortable working with clay, she “needed to learn how to weld steel” once she set her sights on faux bois. “I needed to learn the basics of furniture design, too,” she notes. And, of course, 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 the technical demands of Husson’s work, it’s the language of nature that truly 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.” FauxBoisFurniture.com


This article originally appeared in the August 2021 issue.

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