Interview by Nora from Artlupa in Amsterdam.
Rob de Looff (1976) gave his life a new direction after a long journey from photographer to furniture maker.
Trees get a second life with him, a musical life that is to say; they resound in his music boxes, which are nice to give as a present to someone. His vision on this is so visual that he has become known worldwide.
He consistently makes all the boxes by hand, lovingly, with care. In this way, he delivers the highest conceivable quality. His studio breathes the love for wood and trees. A special person with a special story.
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?
'I wanted to be a photographer when I was 14 and did a lot with photography until I was 19. Like many reports, because people's stories interested me most. Then I went to the photo academy, The Royal Art Academy in The Hague, where I only spent two years. I thought it was way too schooly. The study was very technically oriented, and I really just wanted to go out on the street and make reports. After that I went on to the St. Joost art academy in Breda, where I chose filmmaking, so that I could tell even more of a story with moving images and sound. Here too, after an even shorter time, I left again.'
AFTER YOU LET GO AND STOPPED THESE STUDIES, WHAT DID YOU DO?
'After my education in Breda I went to Amsterdam and had many casual jobs there, such as working with framers or taking pictures of people on a canal boat, which they can then buy, and during that period I even worked with Louis van Gasteren worked. Louis was a filmmaker and director and I worked as an assistant with him.'
WHEN DID YOUR TURNING COME?
The turning point of all this searching came when around my 21st year I became especially interested in the inner side of life. I started to delve into it by reading a lot about it. It worked so that I very quickly lost the pursuit of a career and with it the former dreams about my future. So I soon found myself working in the market garden at a conference center, Renova. This is a conference center of the School of the Rosycross. This work was just pure in nature and with your two feet on the ground. There I learned a lot about the love for trees and the forest. That's when I really started to appreciate the magic of the forest. It was in that place, I lived above the workshop, where I first became acquainted with woodworking. In that forest, trees were regularly felled and branches pruned, which were then sawn into planks. However, after a few years of work, I left again.
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