Patrick Darczuk gestures to an intricately banded slice of cypress in his West Palm Beach studio. “It takes longer than my lifetime to grow a piece like this,” the woodworker muses. “There are all these processes before it comes to me, and once I get it, I want to keep it alive.”
The tree is born again in Darczuk’s hands, coaxed into the sophisticated furnishings that are his signature: long-legged tables wrapped in rattan caning, bamboo-framed mirrors, a live- edge bench. Organic yet exquisite, the pieces exude a humble power. It’s part of the reason Darczuk gravitates toward wood: “I just let it speak and do its thing, and I follow its grain and history,” he says. “It’s something that’s greater than us, like the ocean, like the waves.”
Born in Argentina, Darczuk moved to West Palm Beach in 1995 following a holiday visit. While studying at Florida Atlantic University and Palm Beach Atlantic University, he worked as a draftsman at a furniture company, fell in love with the process and found his calling.
His industrial work space, fronted by his 1974 Kawasaki G5, spans three doors and is an elemental paradise of textures packed with hulking cross-sections of trees, an impressive array of tools and a forest of boards. Interior designers Michael Smith and Leta Austin Foster and architect Daniel Kahan are among the professionals who have sought out his talent, requesting commissions for clients.
Darczuk is, above all, driven by materials. Though bronze, metal, steel and leather occasionally highlight his pieces, his primary medium is wood—specifically native species such as cypress, laurel, water oak, walnut and caning. “I tend to gather whatever is beautiful around me,” he says. The bulk of the work happens in the creative phase. “Everything starts on paper,” Darczuk says. “The design process is probably the most tedious work, even though it’s what I love the most.” Next comes production, during which local artisans help handcraft the pieces. The third section of his studio is for finishing touches like sanding and oiling.
Although custom projects have long been Darczuk’s focus, by the end of the year he aims to release his debut line of furnishings and accessories. It’s part of his own evolution, much like the cypress in his studio. “The beauty needs to be released, but it’s still alive throughout this process,” he says of the wood. “I’m giving it another life, another meaning.”