The Woodshop on Fogo Island rebrands and unveils its second furniture collection

The Woodshop on Fogo Island relaunched as Fogo Island Workshops and unveils its second furniture collection, curated by Anniina Koivu, Head of Master Theory at ECAL/University of Art and Design in Lausanne.

Photo Credit: Fogo Island Workshops

The seven piece collection features designers such as Anthony Guex, Adrien Rovero and Wataru Kumano. Key pieces from the collection will debut at “supersalone,” in Milan this September.

The collection offers pieces that carry the past while fortifying the future, including Guex’s sensibly designed Kitchen Stool, Rovero’s Ring Toss made with materials found on Fogo Island and Kumano’s Pins Chair inspired by the stilts, foundational to the architecture of outport Newfoundland.

“Contemporary, well-made and sustainable, each piece will be imbued with the spirit of Fogo: they are welcoming and comfortable, reliable, never too big, but appropriate in scale for a home. New, but at the same time, familiar,” says Koivu.

Fogo Islanders are a people who, by virtue of their centuries of geographic isolation, have become masters of making things by hand, recycling, and devising local solutions to all manner of challenges. Living on Fogo Island means being resourceful, sensible, and making and using things that work and last.

The official rebranding of The Woodshop on Fogo Island to Fogo Island Workshops reflects the breadth of local craftsmanship from woodworking to textile traditions, including knitting, quilting, hooking mats, crocheting, and sewing. 

Based on a regenerative business model, the Fogo Island Workshops is a social enterprise. One hundred percent of net proceeds return to Shorefast, a registered Canadian charity that builds economic and cultural resilience on Fogo Island and shares new models of community-based economic development.

The approach to furnishing began during the design and construction phases of the Fogo Island Inn – Shorefast’s first social enterprise. Designers from away were invited to work side-by-side with Fogo Island’s artisans and makers to create furnishings and furniture that weaved the new from the fabric of the old.

As a result, the furnishings within the Inn are primarily handcrafted and produced on Fogo Island, employing local artisans and makers contributing to the long-term economic resilience of one of Canada’s oldest settlements.

“The orientation towards international markets is not new, but actually very true to the islands outport origins,” says Zita Cobb, Founder and CEO of Shorefast and Innkeeper of the Fogo Island Inn. “If we want to flourish, we need to hold onto what matters, and to our culture. At the same time, we need to reach out, in order to belong to the world. Doing so requires an external eye, people who can help us place ourselves in a broader context and that’s Anniina’s contribution. She is guiding us, helping us navigate the global network of design, without losing sight of who we are and where we are starting from.”