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Diane Husson Faux Bois Furniture portrait

Ceramist Diane Husson sculpts a faux-bois tabletop. She doesn’t use molds, and no two pieces are alike.

As a kid, Diane Husson was a big tree-climber. She especially loved sitting in the canopy of a certain elm. Today, she’s still negotiating branches, leaves, and bark, but in a wholly different way.

Now an artist in faux bois, Husson turns cement and steel into garden furniture that looks as if had been assembled from natural materials.

Diane Husson Faux Bois Woodland

In an appropriately mystical setting: the Woodland’s Reach chair and table.

A veteran ceramist who has created everything from Christmas ornaments to large-scale murals, Husson discovered the challenges and satisfactions of faux bois (French for “false wood”) about 12 years ago. She found herself, as a novice gardener, disappointed with the existing outdoor-furniture options. A chance encounter with a book about the 20th-century work of Dionicio Rodriguez and his adaptation of the French tradition set her on this path. “Faux bois flourished in Europe during the Art Nouveau era, and since I love all things Art Nouveau, I was inspired by the romantic, lyrical nature of vintage French faux bois,” says Husson, who is based in Virginia.

While Husson’s sculpting skills stood her in good stead, mastering her new medium meant learning to weld (a friend who works at a local shipyard helped her there), educating herself about furniture design, experimenting with various cements, and even making her own wood-graining tools—her first were fashioned from wire used for guitar strings. There weren’t, and still aren’t, many folks who practice the craft, but Husson was able to take a workshop with the late Texas master Donald Tucker. Now, it’s Husson’s creations that set the standard.

“When I design my furniture, I want it to look like the pieces were found in the wild and might even be alive and growing. I want everyone to experience the way I felt when I sat perched in that elm tree’s natural ‘living room’, feeling that nature had created it just for me.”

story by Thomas Connors

Diane Husson
Faux Bois Furniture
Norfolk, Virginia
(757) 587-4342

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