Adiante Franszoon was born in the interior of Suriname along the Brazilian border. The son of a tribal leader, he was raised in the Saramacca Maroon tribe, in one of the many communities established by former slaves who moved from the coast of Suriname to the Amazon rain forest in the early 1700s.
He learned to carve when he was a young boy growing up in the village of Dangogo. Adiante came to the United States in the early 1970s to get an American education. He presently resides in Baltimore, Maryland where he carries on the traditional Maroon carving of his ancestors.
Adiante says, "My goal is to incorporate the Saramacca Maroon style of woodcarving into the contemporary western style of furniture making. I want to make unique objects that my clients will consider heirlooms to hand down to their children. When they speak of my work, they can tell about how each object was crafted, because when I am commissioned to create a piece, I collaborate closely with the client in the decision making process. We work together to create the design, select the wood, and consider the form and function of each object. Only the finest woods, such as teak, mahogany, and tropical cedar are used because of their strength and beauty. Each object becomes unique to the desires of the individual. Custom designed mirror and picture frames, CD cabinets, coffee tables, hall tables, carved doors and chairs, and hand held mirrors are some of my most popular items."
Adiante's work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC, the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, and most recently at the Black History Museum in Richmond, Virginia.
Although Adiante is highly in demand, he is always open to new projects. No job is too big or too small.