IN China, bamboo is used for everything: house and bridge building, furniture and homeware, chopsticks, handicrafts, and even musical instruments. It is a material that for centuries has been and continues to be used by half of the world’s population for applications as varied as food, shelter, fuel and clothing.
American couple Jeff Delkin and Rachel Speth, who have lived in Asia for 12 years, were so inspired by this marvelous material that they founded their company Bambu.
The company produces kitchen and tableware products made from renewable bamboo.
It blends functionality with contemporary design and imagination. Each piece is hand-produced and made from 100-percent organically grown bamboo.
“Bambu is a renewable ideas company with originality and innovation at its core,” says Managing Director Speth, who is in charge of product design and production.
There is an exquisitely designed and beautifully hand-produced collection of kitchen and tabletop trays, bowls, servers and accompaniments; an original and contemporary range of bamboo chopping and serving boards, and a full range of versatile kitchen tools that are designed with performance in mind.
Each of the lightweight and durable kitchen tools is shaped and finished by hand from a single piece of bamboo, then burnished to create a satiny feel that makes the products a delight to use.
The Veneerware line has single-use bamboo products, while the Kids collection offers a range of products that are designed, sized and perfectly suited for small hands and mouths.
The other two collections, lacquerware and Nesting Baskets, are made by two producer groups in Vietnam.
Marrying modern design and contemporary colors with traditional craftsmanship, each Lacquerware bowl is coiled and shaped by hand, then applied with a natural food-safe lacquer derived from the cashew nut tree. They are then finished with a durable food-safe lacquer. With elegant contemporary designs, the bowls come
in different color palettes and have a matte finish.
Double-walled Nesting Baskets in natural and color weaves are ideal for the kitchen and around the home for holding fresh produce, herbs, fruit, bread, toiletries or countless other items.
Good design is not something that has to stand in the corner and be admired, according to Speth.
Good design ought to be part of everyday life. “Our modern and functional kitchen and tableware is inspired by everyday life and handmade right down to the last details. The process is unique and each one has its very own personality,” Speth says.
They are made only from bamboo that is sustainably harvested and free of fertilizers or pesticides.
As one of the Earth’s fastest growing plants, bamboo needs no replanting, grows without fertilizers or pesticides and is harvested from controlled stands with an astounding growth cycle of three to five years, according to Speth.
The founders are based in Shanghai and are regularly on site and in villages in Zhejiang and Fujian provinces where the craftsmen live.
“We spent a lot of time finding the right manufacturers. We are here at the source of the world’s largest supply of bamboo, which means we are fully accountable for the production integrity of our product process.”