It was during the laborious rebuilding of a 1750’s monument into their rustic home in Band Abou, the rural part of Curaçao, that Maryn Kalmeijer discovered her talent and love for woodwork. In her workshop nestled deep in Curaçao’s wild and rough nature, Maryn now brings new life to old tree trunks.
The native trees of Curacao not only have names that appeal to ones’ imagination, like “Barba di Jonkuman” (young man’s beard), “Kibrahacha” (break your axe) or “Palu di sia kora” (red saddle tree), they also have very distinct growth patterns and colours. Her harsh dry growing conditions gives Curaçao hardwoods of a world renowned quality. Maryn reuses salvaged wood from trees that fell down or were removed, and creates beautiful hard wooden carving boards, distinctive furniture and pedestals from them.
The process of revealing the inner soul of an old tree trunk is time consuming and requires great skill. Maryn’s brand name “EKZEN” stands for the ecological and sustainable way she reworks new from old, as well as the ‘Zen’ mentality that is needed to craft the objectives. With patience and a master’s eye, Maryn carefully saws, carves, sands and oils every piece by hand into a unique object of wood art that will last a lifetime. Every object comes with a description of the history and characteristics of the wood and the tree it came from, like the “Mahok” or native mahogany, the ‘Indju’ or mesquite, and the “Druifi di laman” or seagrape. Every piece Maryn makes is unique, there are no two alike, due to the irregular forms of the trunks she works with.