Photo by Tamsin Ross Van Lessen
The sound of sawing draws you into Not A Wooden Spoon, whose white shop front’s simplicity reflects that of the work done inside.
When owner Michael Ferguson steps out of his sawdust-strewn workshop at the back to greet his frequent customers, he stands alongside giant floorboards stacked ceiling-high: the ingredients of his impending masterpieces.
Consciously or not, the London-born carpenter, who lived for 10 years in Sydney before coming to Berlin, is a pioneer in eco-furnishings. Using raw materials from a variety of sources - rubbish skips, renovated houses and specialist salvage yards - he creates utterly unique pieces of furniture, from mirrors and lamps to drawers, chairs and beds. There is something wonderfully solid and charismatic about his furniture. You learn its origins from the price tags: the blue-and-red painted wood of one chair was taken from a flat down the road, on Prenzlauer Allee.
Due to the high demand for Not A Wooden Spoon’s wares, there are often only a few items on display, but you can walk into the shop at any time and place an order for a piece made from scratch. The furniture is not cheap - a large chair costs about €200 – but, when faced with the soulful yet solid grace of the final product, you will think every cent is worth it.
A charming café next to the shop, itself a former furniture shop and thus rather confusingly entitled “Möbel”, contributes to a nice afternoon’s pottering.