Marbelous Wood: Pine Flooring Gets Fresh with Artistic Dye Process

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Think you know all there is to know about staining wood? You might want to reconsider that notion after taking a look at this incredible marbling process perfected by artist Pernille Snedker Hansen in a series she calls ‘Marbelous Wood.’ Repurposing an old marbling technique, the artist gives natural wood a unique ornamentation that’s different on each and every plank, so the possibilities for the final design are virtually endless.

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The designs are created slowly, drop by drop, following the growth rings on the wood, putting the focus on the natural patterns created by nature as the trees grow. According to the artist’s website, “Pernille Sneaker Hansen has combined the traditions of marbling from the bookbinding profession with the traditional Scandinavian pinewood floor, creating a wooden floor that forms a never-ending array of details and color combinations at one’s feet.”

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It’s fun to imagine putting these custom-painted boards together like puzzle pieces, whether attempting to match them up or deliberately flip the motifs for a visually dynamic result. Snedker is currently taking commissions to install these artistic flooring surfaces, and can do them on wall paneling, too.

This Week in Wood: More Modern Pine Structures by Kengo Kuma

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Leave it to Japanese architect Kengo Kuma to continuously re-imagine what buildings primarily made of wood can look like, putting lumber to use in the most unexpected ways. We previously featured a few of Kuma’s strikingly unconventional designs which include criss-crossing slats, artistic arrangements of ceiling beams and interwoven poles, often incorporating Japan’s ancient joinery techniques.

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This time, Kuma has helped create a light-filled community space along with a team of graduate students from the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley. ‘Nest We Grow’ brings quintessentially Californian ideas about architecture to Asia, with a focus on renewable materials.

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The award-winning design focuses on a heavy timber construction technique using large sections of wood, which is a new concept in Japan, where columns are usually made up of smaller composite pieces. Says the design team, “It took considerable effort to identify a way to join materials, which was influenced by both local carpentry practices and the Japanese material market.”

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“The wood frame structure mimics the vertical spatial experience of a Japanese larch forest from which food is hung to grow and dry. A tea platform in the middle of the nest creates a gathering space where the community can visually and physically enjoy food around a sunken fireplace. Local foods make up the elevation of the Nest as people see the food forest floating above the landform.”

This Week in Wood: Colorful Sound-Absorbing Tiles Made of Wood Wool

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Wood wool, known as ‘excelsior,’ is a highly insulating and shock-absorbing material made from slivers of wood cut from logs. It’s been in use for decades for everything from packaging to erosion control mats, but when it’s integrated into architecture or interiors, it’s almost always out of sight. This product by Form Us With Love brings it out from behind the walls, showing off its texture and adding a splash of color.

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Hexagon-shaped modular tiles are painted in a variety of colors in custom combinations and can be assembled in all sorts of patterns to create mural-like wall installations. Cement and water mixed with the wood fibers give it superior sound-absorbing properties, enhancing acoustics.

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This innovative use of wood is aesthetically pleasing, environmentally friendly and easy to apply as well as being fire- and water-resistant. The project helped revitalize the sole manufacturer of wood wool in Sweden, giving them an intriguing new product to produce.

Wood Innovations: New Veneer Can Be Sewn Like Fabric

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This quilted material isn’t fabric that’s printed to look like wood – it’s actual wood veneer. The innovative new invention from Berlin-based designers Anastasiya Koshcheeva and Oya-Meryem Yanik is soft enough to be joined with thread rather than glue, and can be used alone or in conjunction with plywood.

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The material is called ‘Chester’ and it’s more than just a decorative finish for products like the stool pictured above. The quilting method of joining the layers of soft, moldable plywood creates a cushioned surface.

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The resulting product can be cut to size and has potential for use in the furniture, transportation and industrial industries. It’s an interesting new way to look at wood, a product generally perceived as being very solid and inflexible, potentially opening up a whole new realm of possibilities for the material.

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“I explore each material’s unique potential, aesthetic features, and haptic qualities in an experimental way and turn my insights into design concepts,” says Koshcheeva. “My work is characterized by the combination of contrasting textures, colors, and skills. I create products with character that have a story and tell it through the design.”