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Calgary-based brothers Adrian and Martinus Pool create art from recycled wood including old barn boards, recycled flooring and broken skateboards. Martinus talks with link’s Eric Rosenbaum about inspiration, invention and working with family.
ADRIAN POOL (ACPP ’13) AND MARTINUS POOL (ACPP ’18)
We manipulate line, colour, structure and form to create these multi-layered pieces, and we draw on influences such as modernism and cubism in our furniture design.
First came our passion for skateboarding. Adrian and I started skating when we were 12. Then we saw the work of Haroshi, a Japanese artist who creates insane, next-level, high art sculpture out of skateboards. He’s a huge influence. We also had access to our dad’s woodworking tools, spent hours watching our grandfather, who was a seasoned wood turner, and worked construction. We started messing around with making things out of our old boards, then we asked our friends to give us theirs. It grew from there.
We have a network of skateboard shops in Calgary and surrounding communities that give us old and broken boards. Otherwise, they’d go into the garbage.
Because it’s good material and it’s either free or cheap. When Adrian and I worked on construction projects, we’d ask for leftover hardwood flooring and other scraps. We don’t do that anymore. We buy it from contractors and people who sell it online.
Old skateboards are in short supply here in Alberta because board season is short, unlike California where people skate — and break skateboards — all year long. We may get 200 broken boards in a year as opposed to down south where they get crates of them. That’s why we use every bit of the board. We’ll make bowls out of them or use bits of skateboards as accents in furniture made from reclaimed wood. It turns out the shortage of boards makes our creations unique.
We each have our strengths. Adrian has always been the builder, and he’s the technical one. I went to film school before attending SAIT. I’m more the designer, the creative brother. It’s why it works so well.
Text by Eric Rosenbaum | Photo by Adrian Martinus