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Natural Selection

Niels Datema

Natural Selection is a collection of products that found its existence from my passion in creating an elegant object in a short time frame or from my experiment driven interests.

Having always enjoyed working with wood, I started creating wooden spoons by hand. Drawn in by the calm of the process, the meditative nature of making something by hand; working slowly to create new forms from a single piece of wood.

Each spoon is skilfully carved and shaped from single pieces of rest wood using a combination of traditional and modern carving tools and techniques.

It's very joyful to make such a delicacy and elegance yet robust object in only a couple of hours. The work unites the boundaries of human, natural and architectural environments in the fast world we're living in.


Mallorca's climate, the soil characteristics, rugged landscape and irregular rainfall gives Mallorca a huge variety in olive tree species. The great age and slow growing process gives the olive tree this beautiful irregular shapes. olive trees on Mallorca can be up to 500 years old.

With the following collection of spoons I tried to capture all those beautiful specialties of the tree in one little product.

With a very slow meditative process I stroll through the Mallorquin landscape and select carefully ancient old branches that are beautifully shaped by nature and correspond the sizes of a little spoon.

Leaving the branch of the tree untouched this forms a very elegant irregular handle of a spoon. With traditional handcarving tools I create the cup of the spoon from a connection of a thicker branch.

The result is spoon that symbols the ancient old olive tree tradition of Mallorca.

Aluminium Bowls

Having this experiment driven interest always gives me new routs of approaching a product. Next to my studio is a traditional metal working space located. With his experience of heating metal he helped me out with an idea I had, to create irregular aluminium bowls out of scrap aluminium.

I collected old aluminium bolds and bits I had and heated those in the melting foundry up to a 660 degrees. The liquid aluminium got poured into a spinning mould and the centrifuging force pressed the aluminium up against the mould and shaped those unique natural formed bowls. 

Branch Plateaus

Playing around with the organic thicker branches of the wood, I created those branch shaped plateaus. The characteristic annual rings nicely visible and slightly hollowed it's an elegant way to serve appertizers or display small objects

In the same way like all those different projects, I always keep challenging myself and search for new short-term projects. Objects that you can make in an elementary way with not to many tools and close to nature. Objects that give me a satisfaction in short time.