Object of Desire: A Wooden Tray Made from Fallen Trees

Mythology Iris tray

There’s something about the ergonomics of a tray with handles that makes you less likely to spill your cargo. Maybe the handles make you stand up straighter, or maybe you’re less likely to attempt to carry the tray one-handed. Whatever the thinking, the rounded handles on this tray are just one of the reasons we’re particularly enamored of it’s utility (plus beauty).

Photography courtesy of Mythology.

Mythology Iris tray
Above: Mythology’s Iris tray (£220).

These trays are handmade to order in East London by Mythology, a furniture and craft studio led by Sam Pearson and Anna Kidel. The duo have been developing a growing range of furniture and homeware objects since 2019, alongside working on bespoke commissions for commercial and residential interiors.

Mythology Iris tray
Above: The tray is hand-crafted from London plane and measures 545mm x 335mm (about 21.5 x 13.1 in).

The studio is guided by a solid, deep-rooted consideration for the natural environment, so timber is sourced as locally as possible. “These trays are all made from London plane,” explains Anna. “The timber comes from trees that have been felled in London due to urban development or natural causes and comes from one of our main suppliers, Fallen and Felled, who we’re lucky to share our workshop with.”

Mythology Iris tray
Above: The tactile, arching handles are made using hand tools, which, for Sam, provide “a more considered and intimate way of working with wood.”
Mythology Iris tray
Above: The mitre corner joints are strengthened with splines (thin slices of wood).

“From shakes caused by storms to growth rings signaling periods of drought and floods, the story of a tree can be seen in each piece of timber we work with,” says Sam. Mythology’s work seeks to champion this “disorder of nature.” We think this humble tray is the perfect working canvas for that beauty.

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N.B.: This post was first published on Remodelista on February 22, 2023.

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