Reinventing a Classic

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 by MYKA D, BASCO
January 21, 2015

“There is a certain romance in the character of discarded timber”, said Boy Bustamante, the man behind the unique and classy products of Woodstocks.

Woodstocks is an online brand that produces furniture for audio applications – record/audio equipment racks, record cabinets, storage chests, etc.  All these are made of upcycled woodstocks with a smooth finish while still retaining that distressed look.

Boy Bustamante has been an audio aficionado since his high school days. Audio and music has been his passion. “A few years ago, I had the chance to collect some wood from our house that was demolished to give way to a building. At about the same time, I asked a former employee of mine (not a carpenter) if he could build some racks for my growing vintage stereo collection using the wood I had set aside. Seeing his ability and creativeness in building the racks, we experimented with other stuff like tables, cabinets, etc. primarily for my personal use.”, Bustamante shared.

Over a year ago, he started offering his pieces through the Internet audio forums that he is a member of. They used to do all the work at home but because of the limited space, noise, and dust, he was forced to look for a better worksite. “Besides, I was getting to be a major annoyance with the neighbors. Presently, I have two guys who implement my designs and do most of the work.”

WORKSITE
Bustamante showed us his worksite.  It is located at one of the so-called ‘areas’ inside the University of the Philippines grounds. He chose the site because it is cheap and he’s able to get extra help from the community when needed. “An electrician here, a welder there, an extra hand here and there. Mostly, these are the people who are either out of work or in between jobs.   They usually make ‘tambay’ around, probably hoping that I get to hire them for a day or two. The feeling of being able to help these guys, even temporarily, makes my work more satisfying”.

Despite having a ‘not-so-nice’ worksite, Bustamante still dreams of the time when he can afford a roofed factory, an air-conditioned office that is free of the smell of Tatay’s (one of his helpers) piggery. “It would have wifi, a modest stereo system and some magazines with me on the cover of Entrepreneur Today (he laughingly adds). But I’m not holding my breath. I sometimes feel that I get much more than what I pay for the worksite.”

PRODUCTION PROCESS
According to Bustamante, production process is quite simple. Most of the work is done by hand.  Some small power tools are used too – drill and angle grinder mostly. Even the metal hardware is hand forged and all wood is upcycled timber from demolished houses. “Unlike ‘botcha’, this is one instance where in double-dead is good”,  Bustamante quips.

HIS INSPIRATIONS
When asked about his inspiration, he said that he is a fan of modern-industrial design and he imagined that fusing this with a touch of orientalia might soften the look. The steel trappings found in his products are influenced by the Steampunk movement. “I have always felt an attachment to mid-century Danish design. The sleek and simple lines of Finn Juhl are among my favorites. Also iconic pieces like the Eames lounge, the Barcelona chair and Sori Yanagi’s Elephant stool top the list.”

Towards the other extreme, he’s also fascinated with the works of 60-70s artists like Peter Max, Roy Leichenstein, Warhol, and the psychedelia of The Family Dog rock posters.

The influences of these pop artists can be seen in the rendition of his ClassicRock table wherein he rendered each tile in the art form inspired by these artists.

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HIS FAVORITES
Bustamante shared to us that his favorite would be the HeavyMetal turntable coffee table. “I had the concept in mind over a year ago. The design process took over a year while the actual construction kept us busy (on and off) for a few months. With close to 200 metal parts of pipes, gears, pulleys, etc, one can see the Steampunk influence on this piece. It took quite a number of visits to various junkshops and several sleepless nights trying to figure out if this piece will fit that.” Another would be “The Naked Amp”, a heavy mother measuring almost 3 x 6 feet of 2-inch solid hardwood and steel fittings. “I’m not really an artist by profession… I am more of a clumsy carpenter..  So, when I was tasked to do this mural, I was very thankful and yet quite hesitant at first. But what the heck! Life is full of surprising challenges anyway so I took a shot at it. These two gave my brain an enjoyable workout. Clearly, my interest in music/stereo is quite evident here.”

 

28x48 inch base of two-inch solid planks topped off with a 12-coat finish of polyuretnane and satin laquer. Over 200 metal parts of pulleys, pipes, sprockets, springs, industrial bolts, etc. sanded, buffed, polished, and sprayed to achieve a flat pewter finish. 24 inch diameter 12mm glass top.

28×48 inch base of two-inch solid planks topped off with a 12-coat finish of polyuretnane and satin laquer. Over 200 metal parts of pulleys, pipes, sprockets, springs, industrial bolts, etc. sanded, buffed, polished, and sprayed to achieve a flat pewter finish. 24 inch diameter 12mm glass top.

 

"The Naked Amp". Another heavy mother measuring 3x6 feet of 2-inch solid hardwood and steel fittings waiting to be hung in a brand new home.

“The Naked Amp”.
Another heavy mother measuring 3×6 feet of 2-inch solid hardwood and steel fittings waiting to be hung in a brand new home.

 

 

HIS CONCEPT OF QUALITY DESIGN
Bustamante wants his pieces to last, that is why he deals with hardwood.  Also, he’s after a design that won’t be dated to complement it’s longevity.

“My designs lean towards a masculine look; although, my designs are appealing to women as well. (Btw, a good number of my clientele are women).

DESIGN PHILOSOPHY
Bustamante considers his work art pieces. It may not be as artistic as other renowned artists out there but he is confident that you can trust his products in terms of functionality. “I don’t want my pieces to be like trophies only to be looked at from afar. I want them used… used and abused! Go ahead. Scratch your name on the corner of that worktable when bored or leave cigarette burns on the edges when no ashtray is to be found. No worries.” Bustamante also believes that the patina of these markings will make a good story when it is eventually passed on to grandkids in the future.

Although they have standard designs for some pieces, Bustamante said that they treat each one different from the last.  This is due to variations in timber hue, size, hardness, and the general condition of the wood when they get them. Added to that, is the fact that since these are all done by hand, no two pieces are alike making them unique and one of a kind.

Ten years from now, he would like to think that he will still be doing this since he’s enjoying it immensely. “I’d still like to keep it simple though – maybe a better factory environment, a couple of more tools/machines to further improve the output. Not really a mega factory; but one that is large enough for me to still see and inspect each and every item that goes out for delivery.”

He looks forward to working with different kinds of wood.  According to Bustamante, this will enable him to create more exceptional products. He takes pride in the fact that not a single tree was cut down in the manufacture of his products. He considers it as his small contribution to Mother Earth.

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for more on Woodstocks:
woodstocks
https://bb3blog.wordpress.com/wood-stocks/
For orders and inquiries:
0915 9091307
pablo111b@yahoo.com

 

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Comments
10 Responses to “Reinventing a Classic”
  1. Mario Marotta says:

    … STATE OF …- ART! -.
    __ EXQUISITE TASTE!!__ Cheers!____mario

  2. bb3 says:

    Jack / Mario,
    Much thanks!
    Btw Mario, am just curious. Where are you from?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Unique and top notch! Congratz sir Boy! – Luis

  4. Simon says:

    How can I order a hifi rack from you, these works are superb!

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