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                                                       You cannot force an epiphany to happen, but finding yourself deep in the jungle can be conducive to it. It was in the year 2010 when Ania Wolowska was in a town called Bacalar, gazing at what seemed to her the most beautiful lagoon in the world. Attempting to slow down a hectic pace of life, among friends, doing things, in cities like Gdansk and Poznan in Poland, and also Mexico City. Because no one could defend large cities with sufficient evidence and claim they are not unbearable. And for Bacalar, it was enough to have the most beautiful lagoon in the world to trigger the epiphany that made Ania stay in that place. Her life changed forever when she realized she had everything in nature. This marked the beginning of ITZ, a design studio and carpentry workshop based in Bacalar, southeastern Mexico.

Ania found her guides in two Mayan carpenter masters near Bacalar, in a little village called Los Divorciados. They taught her their processes of how wood becomes an object. But more importantly, they taught her to see nature with different eyes, in its purest state: witnessing the lifestyle of the carpenter masters who, deep in the jungle, cultivate all the food they need—fruit, vegetables, corn, and beans. And then, they savor it in their baharaque houses made of wood with palm roofs, absolute farmers who even coexist in harmony with bees that pour honey to sweeten their palate. When the click of nature makes a connection deep within you, it turns the path of work into producing tangible beauty. ITZ, a name with Mayan roots, honors this process: creating ensembles that are both beautiful and strong.

The ITZ workshop has witnessed an evolution that challenges the expectations of local craftsmanship. Sharing her experiences with Ademán, Ania Wolowska tells how they began collaborations with the most outstanding artisans and carpenters in the region. At that time, these skilled workers were not accustomed to creating high-quality products, as they focused on making simple furniture with rustic designs and modest finishes. Ania emphasizes the patience and dedication required to teach them that they could aspire to produce exceptionally high-quality items.

The culmination of this journey resulted in a unique story that, according to Ania, transformed the workshop into a kind of regional trade school. For her, this space goes beyond just being a workshop; it is a source of knowledge and a school of life. Numerous talented young people passed through here, acquired skills in masonry and fine carpentry, and took this knowledge to various parts of Mexico and even the United States.

But the narrative takes an unexpected turn towards the end when Ania shares: 'We are rescuing lost artisanal techniques in the region, such as weaving chairs with the ancient partridge-eye technique, which has almost disappeared.' Beyond being just a workshop, ITZ stands as a custodian of heritage, reviving and preserving forgotten skills.

For Ania, living in the communities of Bacalar and nearby places made time pass in a very different way: everything is calm, and there is no hurry.


What is your favorite tree?

ania WoLowska

I never thought I could have a favorite tree! I love them all! From a frail and crooked guarumbo with enormous leaves, to a robust zapote, so noble and abundant, to a chacá with peeling and delicate bark. In each tree, I find a lot of beauty. When I walk through the jungle or the forest, I don't compare or rate them. Instead, I notice the peculiar and different aspects of each one, which make them special and unique. 


Eternal cycle of life in your eyes

ania wolowskA

A cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth or a change in the state of matter, bound by time and space. A cycle that repeats without a beginning and without an end, a cycle of constant change, evolution, and transformation where we are all connected, despite not always being able to perceive it due to the limitations of the ego.


What foods remind you of home?

ania wolowska

When I think of 'home' in relation to this question, my parents' house in Poland comes to mind. My first home and the place I return to every year. It always smells of delicious food. The taste of strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, wild mushrooms, rye bread, fermented pickles and freshly baked apple pie remind me of it.

In reverence to nature, we discover an eternal joy, reflected in the words of poet Walt Whitman in "Leaves of Grass": "I am divine inside and out, sanctifying everything I touch or that touches me." This commitment becomes an echo in our soul, guiding us to preserve the very essence that connects us with life. Reverence for nature is universal, accessible, and a fundamental part of ITZ and Ania Wolowska.

Each piece of ITZ not only showcases craftsmanship but is a palpable expression of how nature and art coexist in perfect harmony, transforming spaces and enriching lives.

Delve into the essence of ITZ's artistic craftsmanship by exploring the diverse spectrum of woods they embrace. From the high density and uniform grain of mahogany to the fine lines and durability of machiche, the exotic colors of chechen, the tropical strength of tzalam, the dense elegance of katalox, the extraordinary grain of ziricote, and the tropical robustness of jabin, each wood tells a story, contributing to the richness of ITZ's catalog.

From this catalog emerge wonders like the "Silla Sáasil," inspired by the work of Luis Barragán, with a candid construction and sharp details. Its light and sturdy structure, with a seat frame handwoven with cotton or nylon rope, adds to the inspiration of "Sillón Cocom," blending tradition and modernity with a tropical touch. This pair brings us back to the words of poet Walt Whitman, expressing that nature must present itself 'without restraint, with its primordial energy.'

Because nature is everywhere, speaks everywhere, speaks in every piece of ITZ.