The Chinese name of Hong Kong wood craft production brand Twenty-one from Eight is “廿一由八”, that combines four words and turns into the surname of Thomas and Vera - "黃". It also implies that pieces of wood are formed into wood crafts, given the name of the two and let the story of crafts to pass on.
Read more about the concept behind Twenty-one from Eight by Thomas and Vera, and enjoy the shots of work taken by our latest Lomo'Instant Square!
Hello Thomas and Vera! Please introduce yourself and let our readers know more about you.
We are founders and woodworkers of Twenty-one from Eight. We believe that the texture of the wood itself is full of history, and users contribute to the ongoing story through our hand-craft. It is a continuation of vitality which passes along as time goes by.
Why did you decide to use wood as a creative medium?
At first, we just simply made wooden furniture because we needed them in our daily lives. When we were living in London, we did not even have a chair at home for friends, so we decided to make them on our own. We collected pallets on the streets, old tools from abandoned factories and eBay. In addition to looking for advice from experienced carpenters, most of our skills come from the internet and are accumulated bit by bit.
What are the reasons that you decided to open Twenty-one from Eight?
Originally we simply took pictures of our wood crafts and shared them with friends online. Later, a British friend wanted us to make several pieces of wooden furniture for him. We thus established enough confidence to open "Twenty-one from Eight". Till now, we have never forgotten the original intention, which is to create a piece of work that is worth being a part of our life.
How would you describe the style of Twenty-one from Eight?
Twenty-one from Eight does not have an established style, but if you really want to describe then we would say it is steady and low-profile.
Every piece of wood requires much effort and time. What makes you continue to uphold?
The more we work, the more we realized we lack sophisticated knowledge and we want to continue to pursue a better technique. In fact, when we enjoy the process in working towards our goal, so it is not really a kind of upholding.
What is the greatest satisfaction that Twenty-one from Eight brings to you?
The greatest satisfaction is from our wood crafts. For every production, we dedicate part of our life in it. In the past centuries of economic development, all of them emphasize on efficiency and convenience. Factory-style and large-scale production replaced the meticulous tradition and crafts. When it comes to the 20th century, urban development is nearly saturated. The quest of people is not only to meet the needs of life. From now, we also need to preserve the long-forgotten humanity.
Are there any guests that make you memorable?
The most memorable guests were two visitors in our earlier exhibitions. They were fifty-year-old carpenters. They carefully looked at every piece of our work and every corner of the exhibition. Finally, they walked into us, excitedly told us that this was the first time they experienced that "Woodworking being respected by others" after engaging in woodworking for 40 years. They held our hands and said, "Keep it up, young people". We were touched by their simple encouragement.
Do you like instant photography?
Although we're not good at taking instant pictures, we love the excitement when waiting for the images to show up, as well as the exquisite texture that instant photos have.
What do you think about the square format?
Square format is relatively trendy. It is more concentrated.
If you are given a Lomo'Instant Square, where will you take it and what will you shoot for?
We will choose to take a single portrait or photos of us.
Any plans for future?
Temporarily we have not considered much for the long-term development. Our current plan is to focus on our technical foundation of carpentry.