Melanieabrantes_process

Think fast: where does cork come from? If you said Portugal, well, you'd be right. And that's precisely why Melanie, who's half Portuguese, was intrigued by the idea of making products from the stuff. She'd trained in product design at the Otis College of Art and Design — that's where she learned how to use her hands, to woodwork, weld, glass blow and make ceramics — and it was the woodworking that she fell particularly hard for. She uses a lathe to carve the wood and, yes, cork into vases and planters that are round and cozy-lookin'. (The ones with round rolls are inspired by an old roommate's shar-pei puppy's wrinkles.)