Cooperative of Slovenian Designer Makers Crafting Wood
A woodturner, a wooden jewelry designer, a maker of wooden fish plates and a carver of wooden spoons, met on a hot spring day and said, “Three hundred furry bears (which is how we curse in Slovenian), we are doing such beautiful things, we should show them to the world so that more people can see them and buy them! And we shook our hands and promised that we will unite our efforts and try together to win your hearts with a story about wooden products from the wooded country of Slovenia.
We established a cooperative and named it 300 Wooden Bears.
The members of 300 Wooden Bears have big plans and a lot to do. In our work, we found the things that unite us, things in which we all believe:
The search for beauty, which is hidden in nature, in the balance of elements. The beauty that is in usability and innovation of products we design and manufacture. In the lustre of the wood, in the warmth and familiarity that you can feel in our products. Beauty is what enables us to exceed the mere daily existence. Beauty is what makes us happy, if we create it and what other people appreciate in our products. It is what will be left of us when we’re gone.
Together we are stronger. Mutual assistance and exchange of knowledge, information and ideas can elevate us and our products. Cooperation means that in achieving the common objectives, each contributes their best, without reservation, with all he or she knows and can. This is an act of trust in others, believing they’re going to do the same, and that the energy and time invested will be multiplied by the knowledge and experience of other members of the cooperative. This is not a matter of course and doing this step is difficult, so trust is the key to the success of our cooperative.
Responsibility to the environment in which we live, to nature, to the planet. We are only temporary guests on earth, and we must strive to live by giving it to our children in the best possible condition. Therefore, we want to replace plastic with wood. Therefore, we are constantly thinking about what kind of products can be made in wood, the natural material that is in abundance in our immediate surroundings in Slovenia. And we are persistently looking for opportunities for the reuse of waste wood. Wood is a warm and lively material. The touch of the wood calms and has a beneficial effect on our well-being. Members of the cooperative 300 Wooden Bears also know that the wood is soothing in the design process and that working with it can be a sort of meditation. Try it once!
Have you been wondering, why 300 Wooden Bears?
“300 hairy bears” is one of the juiciest Slovenian curses. Foreigners usually have a lot of fun when we explain to them, how Slovenes are cursing when something makes us angry. We use the terms like “The white road” or “Go, salt yourself” for example. Confused? Here is the list of the funniest Slovenian curse words, translated to English:
But bears are not only the stars of one of the most popular Slovenian curses, they are also very popular inhabitants of Slovenia. There are about 400 of them (although we doubt that three hundred of them ever hang out together). Our bears live in the forests, which cover 66% of the national territory. In terms of relative forest cover, Slovenia ranks third in the European Union, after Finland and Sweden. The forest offers us a source of wealth – wood, a material that helps to mitigate climate change, as it is produced by the process of photosynthesis from CO2. It is also naturally renewable and meets the principles of sustainable development. Wooden products prolong the storage of CO2 during the period of use.
Bear is a symbol of unspoiled nature, which we try to contribute to with our work, so we did not think long before selecting it for our totem.