About

The term ”meta” is commonly used in epistemology to mean ”about (its own category)”. The term implies self-reference – thus Metaplace: a fireplace constructed from a tree.

Concept

Petrified wood is the fossilized remains of terrestrial vegetation through the process of permineralization. The organic matter has been completely replaced by minerals over millions of years, creating a gemstone-based preservation of the original organic structure. Only a small fraction of petrified wood is suitable for lapidary work. The piece we have obtained is a stunning tree base, roughly 22 million years old, from central Java in Indonesia.

Petrified wood does not burn—it is truly a piece of stone—which inspired  the original vision of creating a standalone fireplace out of an individual tree. While the initial concept was to create the entire piece out of a single tree, after visiting Indonesia and seeing first-hand the pieces available, it was determined that for a debut piece, a base would be constructed to frame the piece and add contrast.   

The Metaplace—an unparalleled collision of modernity and antiquity—captures the ephemerality of a tree struck by lightning, burning from within, and is designed to be the centerpiece of a home or institution.


Nick Wray

Although my education was not in the fine arts, I have always loved contemporary sculpture, design, and architecture. Through my father’s geologist background and my love of nature, I first conceptualized the idea of restanding a fossilized tree and converting it to a fireplace in 2016. Now after years of developing the concept, I first explored the petrified wood market with a visit to Indonesia in July 2018.

I balance a day job with personal creative work, mostly photography and sketches of sculptures I’d like to make one day. I briefly started in the design market with the launch of SLLV, a phone sleeve for Juul devices, in the summer of 2017.

My creative approach - no matter the medium - is to find contrasts behind the idea I am working on and trying to highlight them. Some of my earliest photographic works revolve around displaying a tiny snow drift - no taller than an inch - as a monstrous wave.

The term meta was used as a statement about how the world is changing - the internet and culture itself are becoming more self-referential and meta is an increasingly used term. It is incredibly prevalent in memes, advertising, the internet, and even the news. Your browser is reading <meta> tags on this website, and it’s even meta for me to be writing about the fact that it’s meta. Be meta.

Metaplace combines an ancient artifact - a fossil - with a modern formed concrete base, displaying itself as a discussion worthy statement piece of any modern building or landscape. It’s functional but aesthetic. It’s old but new. It’s wood with flame. It’s capturing that ultimate moment of a tree struck by lightning and burning from inside.


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