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Andrew Evans of National Geographic Traveler visited New Orleans and sat down with Doorman Designs’ Alex Gernier to discuss how he’s letting the story of New Orleans continue through his furniture pieces. “New Orleans: Water and Wood” was originally published on May 30th, 2014 on Digital Nomad.
Check out the YouTube video and transcript below.
Here’s the transcript:
Alex: Hello my name is Alex Gernier and I am Doorman Designs. I am a furniture maker and I make furniture out of reclaimed wood and iron from New Orleans. So, all this wood is reclaimed cypress and pine from old houses that were destroyed or blighted after Hurricane Katrina. The door is from an old house that was flooded and destroyed during Hurricane Katrina and then the legs on either side and the trim is all reclaimed wood from houses here in New Orleans. So, a lot of these homes were once a ship and they would take the ships apart and build new neighborhoods with it and a lot of these neighborhoods in 2005 were destroyed in Katrina. And now, I’m making furniture with it.
Andrew: So that means the wood has lived a whole life; it’s had multiple lives.
Andrew: It’s been a house and now it’s a piece of furniture.
Alex: It’s been reclaimed three different times.
This tree probably started growing in the late 1600’s, early 1700’s when it was cut down in the early to mid 1800’s. This is a house in the 7th Ward neighborhood of New Orleans. This was the rafters in a shotgun house and the whole house was built with this wood. I feel like I’m letting the city keep talking. I mean, this is really really old stuff, this is a city that’s going on 300 years old. It’s got a lot of stories that many of us will never know. It’s voiced here as well.