Hungarian architect Miklós Ercsényi is the creator behind Ardeola, which creates unique, laser-cut wooden bracelets configured out of 20-40 separate elements. You “open” the bracelets to wear them and “shut” them to collapse them. Pieces are geometric yet organic in both layout and style.

Budapest-based Miklós, who has worked in architecture and product design for over 15 years, set up Ardeola with his wife in 2014, and works on this venture in his free time (their “day” job is making striking wall clocks).

The brand name originates from Miklós’ childhood. His grandparents had a wooden sculpture in their garden when he was a child - a slender, graceful pond heron (also known as Ardeola, derived from the Latin) with its beak pointing up at the sky. He was fascinated by this sculpture, which was carved from one single piece of wood.

Miklós draws inspiration from simple outlines – squares, rectangles and circles. He experiments by laying shapes out in either strict geometrical order, or in organic patterns. He strives to use as few elements as possible while maintaining the desired appearance.

Miklós sketches and drafts idea on a computer.  Files are then sent to one of two, carefully-chosen manufacturers who laser cut the first prototype.  Dimensions are modified to achieve the best fit (if the parts are assembled too tightly the design gets “stuck”; too loosely and it falls apart) and to ensure an accurate cut.  Keen to use the latest manufacturing technologies, Miklós uses the material that best suits the precise laser machine - in this case it is plywood. 

Parts are polished, hand painted or oiled, and then assembled.  Each separate part is painted in one colour, or oiled in a way that accents the natural wood grain. It is the arrangement of these pieces that results in unique colour schemes and toning effects.

The design of Ardeola’s bracelets is ingenious. They are minimalist yet detailed; chunky but flexible; and surprisingly lightweight to wear. Wooden blades and links are connected by, and rotate around, rods and follow the movement of the wrist.