Močvarni Hrast Master Carpentry


Current owner is Kornelija Franjić, who runs the company with her husband Darko. Darko Franjić is an experienced second generation carpenter with formal woodworking training, and a certified restorer of historic buildings, objects and other related wooden architectural elements that are under cultural heritage protection. Family Franjić includes three sons, and oldest one is now is now enrolled in High school for woodwork in Zagreb.
Company is a manufacturer of, primarily, bespoke furniture and interior installments made out of diverse types of wood, and collaborates closely with domestic and international clients on various architectural, restoration and interior design projects, covering all stages of production from shaping and finishing to assembling and installation. Family designs and produces wooden decorative cups too, and other small goods, mostly from bog oak wood, and have very fruitful cooperation with designers in Croatia. They have a decade long tradition producing handmade smoking pipes, in cooperation with master carver Davorin. Company exports theirs products all over the world, including USA, Canada, Turkey, Greece, Great Britain, Germany, France etc.

Močvarni hrast is a small company for mechanical and manual wood processing specialized in manufacturing and processing of rare form of partly fossilized timber bog oak, which has even been adopted as a company name. Established as a family business, handed down from father to son, Carpentry Franjić tracks more then 6 decades long experience.

Carpentry was founded in 1958 and is now situated in the western part of Zagreb covering over 700 m² with a paint shop area, dehumidification zone and a lofty storage unit. Workshop accommodates separate spaces for fabrication, hydraulic pressing, painting/coating and several workbenches for manual processing with a special unit dedicated to handcrafting smoking pipes.
Collected wood stock is being prepared and processed from the moment of arrival, by natural air drying and dehumidifying, and undergoes various mechanical and manual processing and surface conditioning. Wood turning, veneering and natural oils polishing are a few of the techniques used for additional customization. Important aspect of Močvarni hrast’s production is sustainable use of all processed materials including its byproducts.

While working with bog oak a lot of attention is directed to distinct dark coloration of the material which shows the maturation of the wood structure as a result of long exposure and slow permeation of minerals in water. Being deprived of oxygen, below water level for several thousands of years, wood undergoes the process of fossilization. This transformation leaves the wood in such state that preserving its quality upon extraction is delicate and requires proper maintenance if attempting any type of further processing with it. Logs are immediately wrapped in waterproof material and meticulously dried to prevent warping. Hardness of fossilized wood is increased to such a level that its resistance to denting and wear is so high that it demands special method for processing treatments.
In working with smaller goods use of exceptionally firm tools are required for grinding, brushing, carving and any number of other shaping techniques. In order to expose the beautiful dark surface, homeware items (bowls, plates, cups) go through several polishing stages using various abrasive tools and papers in order to gradually smooth it out. Finishing treatments and protective coating are chosen according to preferred tonal qualities, using teak oil and natural solutions for enhancing the natural color of the material and opting for linseed/flaxseed oil when in need of exposing a darker hue. Some types of wood react to oiling by small disfigurations and pore unrefinements so wax is used for conditioning the material and its final protection.

Company produces mostly custom ordered final goods such as: furniture, doors, window frames, floor coverings, sculptures, and various decorative objects and items for everyday use. In addition to working on commission, company has several products of their own design in distribution like decorative homeware, elm wood products and smoking pipes and pipe accessories (in black, copper and gold morta).
Furniture restoration projects and other complex interior installations require a value-based pricing system, whereas time invested for making each of the handcrafted smaller goods is harder to assess due to unique state of each piece, making sales and international distribution a challenge.