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Juan Manuel Molina Baena

  • El Arte del Olivo
  • Woodworker
  • Jaén, Spain
  • Master Artisan
Juan Manuel Molina Baena Woodworker
Contact
Spanish, English
Hours:
Monday to Friday 9:00 - 14:00/18:00 - 21:00
Phone:
+34 953776138
© Jumo Aviles

In the name of the olive tree

  • • Juan Manuel and his family were early adopters of the blog to find an audience
  • • For him, the difficulty of working olive wood is part of its magic
  • • He invites his customers to practice a more sustainable consumption

As a child, Juan Manuel Molina Baena made toys out of olive wood for his brothers and neighbours in his hometown of Jaén, which is a small town in the Andalucia region of Spain in which the main industry is growing olives. His father, also a craftsman, had instilled in him that there was nothing in his imagination he could not do. Juan Manuel first studied metallurgy and set up a metalworking and carpentry workshop. At the age of 45, he made his first cutting boards and other kitchen utensils from the olive wood that the farmers in his village discarded after the annual pruning. Realising the value of his products, in 2011 his son Juanma started to sell them on his behalf online. Success was immediate, and with the help of his wife and children, Juan Manuel turned this task into a thriving family business. Today he is a renowned craftsman in his region and beyond. For him, the olive tree has its way of behaving. He transforms his wood with respect and passion into sustainable objects that promote responsible consumption and quality over quantity.

Read the full interview

Works

  • © Jumo Aviles
  • © Jumo Aviles
  • © Jumo Aviles
  • © Jumo Aviles
  • © Jumo Aviles
Photo: © Jumo Aviles
Mirlo cutting board

This wooden cutting board is made from olive trees with an average age of 400 years old. The artisan emphasises that it is handcrafted in a single piece in which customers can see the natural edge and the original shape of the Mediterranean tree that grows in the region of Jaen, Spain.

Length 65 cm
Width 47 cm
Height 6 cm

Photo: © Jumo Aviles
Madroña lamp

This pendant lamp has been turned entirely by hand by Juan with olive wood from Jaén, Spain. The raw material has been carefully selected, dried and treated for more than two years to highlight the qualities of the olive tree. This piece, which shows its wood grains, draws its inspiration from the landscapes of Andalusia, Spain. It is ideal for spaces that stand out for their minimalist and contemporary shapes.

Diameter 40 cm

Photo: © Jumo Aviles
Taburete stool

This stool is part of a series of handmade pieces that aim to reflect on the exterior and interior appearance of olive trees. On the exterior, they are rough and strong, and convey protection. On the inside, they reveal very delicate and beautiful qualities that need to be pampered and treated with patience. Its legs are made from the intact branches of the olive tree, with a design that guarantees its users a correct balance when seated.

Height 45 cm
Diameter 25 cm

Photo: © Jumo Aviles
Esférico washbasin

This hand-turned olive tree washbasin, with a spherical design, stands out for its different wood grains and light brown colours. It is made from a single piece that comes from a tree more than 200 years old and has been carefully treated to ensure it is completely water resistant.

Height 37 cm
Width 25 cm

Photo: © Jumo Aviles
Wooden stool

This stool, made from the olive tree trunks that farmers discard after the annual pruning in the Jaen region of Spain, respects the natural shape of the Mediterranean tree – both at its base and its legs.

Height 40 cm
Diameter 34 cm

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