Collecting fallen wood during country road trips with friends started off as a hobby for Paul Kruger, but eventually turned into a full-fledged business that pays homage to the trees. The NYC-based artist quickly found that he could take his newly discovered treasures and transform them into one-of-a-kind furniture pieces. Now Kruger sells his recycled custom furnishings out Fallen Industry, his studio showroom on the Upper West Side.
The New York City-born artist earned his creative credentials studying fine art at LaGuardia High School and later earning his BFA from the School of Visual Arts. In 2010, Kruger decided to revisit his childhood trips to a path along the Hudson River, and began collecting man-made driftwood left for waste. Enthralled with the possibilities of bringing to life the stories behind the wood, Kruger was inspired to turn them into custom sculptures and furnishings.
The artist’s pieces are primarily designed for the affluent eco-minded consumer. Prices for a coffee table run between $1,200 and $1,500 and a dining room table goes for anywhere from $2,500 and $5,000. “It’s not IKEA, but it’s much less than designers charge,” said Kruger to DNAInfo. In 2012, Kruger expanded his projects to include tables, shelves, and lamps made from fallen trees across the nation.
Kruger currently runs Fallen Industry part-time, holding down a position as creative director at an advertising company until he can take his business full-time. “We attempt to give homage to the trees by preserving their natural beauty and organic symmetry that only Mother Nature can create,” he writes on his website. “We cherish the knots, holes, and burl that lumber companies consider undesirable. And we give new life to one of nature’s enigmas, that does nothing but good for all who breathe its air and inhabit this Earth.”