Maker's Story

Vanessa grew up in India, and being a single child often turned to arts and crafts to keep her busy through her school years. She then went on to study furniture & interior design where she worked with wood in the college workshop for the first time and instantly fell in love with its warmth and versatility.

After college she worked at a furniture rental start-up for 2 years. Often the idea behind the design did not get translated into production and smaller details got lost in translation. She realised she wanted to be able to build her own designs and have control over the entire process.

In 2017 she moved to Germany to start a carpentry apprenticeship where she trained for 3 years in a combination of theory and practical application. It is here that she developed a deep passion for wood, the craftsmanship behind woodworking, and perfected her own style of combining handtools with machines.

Vanessa has been working as a self-employed furniture maker and designer in Amsterdam since 2021. She builds custom furniture for clients using the knowledge and skills she has gathered over the last 12 years.

Draumr, portret van Vanessa Horig voor de portrait kast.

"I am most inspired by the material itself, the wood; its colours, its story, the way it behaves, the versatility it offers, and the effect it can have if treated right. "

The Process

Vanessa believes that design is a process, and being a designer-maker allows her to be in control of all the steps from sketch to final product. Each decision in the journey is a conscious balance between material, form and function. Her products are objects of daily use, with beautiful details, usually in a playful combination of wood and colour. Vanessa builds furniture that will last a lifetime and criticizes the throw-away lifestyles that large brands promote. Through her work, she hopes to inspire other young women to pursue a career in crafts and creativity.



What motivates you to make?

The incredible creativity that comes with this job is what excites me every day. Each day will look different depending and each will come with it’s own set of problems that need solving. I always learn so much while solving these problems, I am constantly evolving. Seeing a finished product gives me a pride and satisfaction that I have never experienced before. And one of the most gratifying parts is when the client tells you how much they love the piece you built for them.

What and/or who are you most inspired or influenced by?

I am most inspired by the material itself, the wood; its colours, its story, the way it behaves, the versatility it offers, and the effect it can have if treated right. I also see the beauty in simplistic design in the works of Finn Juhl, Charles & Ray Eames and George Nakashima. Nakashima’s philosophy about wood and using it for furniture still resonates with me on a deep level.

What is your unique approach to your craft and how have you honed your skills?

I work with a combination of modern technology and traditional craftsmanship, something I’ve learnt to blend after my carpentry apprenticeship. I have a keen eye for detail and strive to perfect every product I make. My furniture often features smaller handmade elements that add value and interest to the product.I take pride in my skills as a furniture maker and believe in regularly practising working with hand tools. Woodworking is a craft that needs to be preserved and promoted, and my products are a medium to spread awareness.

What is your defining or proudest moment as a maker so far?

Finishing my graduation project during my apprenticeship was a huge validation for me. As with everything new, there were certain doubts about whether I would be able to actually fulfil my dream of building my own furniture, and that cabinet was the first piece that I built completely on my own, with my own design and choice of materials. It even won me a prize. That’s when I knew, I could actually be a designer-maker and succeed.

What is your dream project?

I think any project that lets the wood shine and allows me to be true to my craft would tick the right boxes. Very often people want wood to be what it’s not, and that is meaningless to me.