I found these two article fascinatings — a UK company that “manufactures” its furniture by molding young saplings to create the pieces it uses in the building of its products.
(Photo courtesy Fabio De Paola and The Guardian)
Gavin Munro “.. uses specially designed plastic frames to mold young willow, oak, ash and sycamore trees into the shape of chairs, tables, frames, or lamps as they’re growing. Once they’ve matured, each tree has morphed into a fully functional furniture item made from a single piece of wood, no sawing or assembling necessary. Munro’s company, called Full Grown, aims to ‘rethink our relationship with trees and time.'”
Full Grown is currently growing 400 trees in this fashion near Derby in the UK.
“Using this method, growing an individual tree into a complete chair takes anywhere from four to eight years. ‘In essence, it’s an incredibly simple art,’ he says. ‘You start by training and pruning young tree branches as they grow over specially made formers. At certain points we then graft them together so that the object grows in to one solid piece.’ He likens the process to ‘a kind of organic 3D printing that uses air, soil and sunshine as its source material.’ After the tree has grown into the shape they want, they continue to nurture it as it thickens and matures before harvesting it in the winter. It’s then planed and finished to show off the wood and grain inside. Each piece is as utterly unique as an individual tree.”
It takes four years to grow a chair.
Links (original article in The Guardian): http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/mar/29/the-innovators-growing-solid-wooden-furniture-without-the-joins
(followup article in Fast Company): http://www.fastcodesign.com/3044730/wanted/these-molded-trees-grow-into-fully-formed-chairs-tables-and-lamps?utm_source=facebook#1
So… Why is this a topic in My Wooden Boat of the Week? Because I know our readers are an enterprising sort, and would rather grow their own boats than cut down 60 year-old trees.
Let’s have at it, then?
What do you think?