How a handyman turned at-sea disasters into homegoods with history

Struck by the beauty of the weathered, water-aged timber along the outside of a decripit sunken tuna fishing vessel dragged back ashore in his native South Africa, carpenter Nic Kruger convinced himself he could breathe a unique second life into it. So he pleaded with the guys who planned to sell the remnance for scrap metal to let him have the wood before they burned it, then carted it off to his workshop, stripped it of rusted nails, and built a table. And just like that, Shipwreck Furniture was born.

Eventually, the wood from that wreck ran out, so he tracked down a couple other rigs that met early ends, and amassed whatever scraps he could get his hands on, most of which unfortunately turned out to have been carelessly hacked up with a chainsaw by salvagers with no regard for future use.

Armed with at least some raw material to keep the gig running, he expanded the collection to include a broader range of handsomely rustic home-cessories, like benches, coffee & end tables, shelves, and buffet servers.

And these days, he's built the venture up into a small team, including one member tasked with cleaning and fully dismantling metal bits from whatever new wreckage they can get their hands on, which they've even begun incorporating into the designs and construction.