After thousands, or maybe hundreds of thousands of years spent manipulating wood, humans are still inventing new and exciting ways of working with the material.
We’d like to share two very different methods that we’ve discovered recently.
Ori Ravgad’s Paipu Technique
Ori Ravgad takes a single sheet of hardwood veneer, drizzles it with adhesive, and carefully rolls it into a tube. He then places the tube into a bespoke mould tool to set overnight.
The results are impressive – a strong, complex three-dimensional plywood part with internal passageways for hardware.
The ‘Paipu Technique’ was inspired by the art of Sushi-roll making, however, the final outcome is more reminiscent of parts produced by extrusion:If it had to be categorised, this new process might lie somewhere in-between extrusion and actually growing a tree into your desired shape, from scratch. This is because, when Ori rolls up a sheet of veneer, he is effectively re-assembling the original structure of the tree into a form that better suits his needs. Ori’s technique also takes advantage of Rotary Veneer Peeling, which is incredibly efficient in it’s use of timber:
Charlène Guillaume’s ‘Bottle It’ Project
After playing around with disposable PET drinks bottles otherwise destined for landfill, Charlène Guillaume stumbled upon their ability to shrink on contact with high temperatures. Heat-shrinking plastics are nothing new, but when applied to the task of joining wood, these bottles become something really special.
In her process, Charlène cuts away each end of a bottle, slides it over the two pieces of wood to be joined, and applies heat – this is instant joinery, without the usual cost of screws, nails, dowels, dominoes or adhesive.
Although at an early stage of development, the resulting pieces of furniture unfortunately end up looking like something Bear Grylls might lash-up in a hurry:
Despite the aesthetic, this method wonderfully exploits the Engineering properties of high-performance Polyester. PET exhibits high tensile strength, high dimensional stability and is resistant to harsh chemicals, creep and wear. This new joinery application makes appropriate use of an often wasted resource.
From a sustainability standpoint, is Charlène upcycling or downcycling?
Well, that depends on whether water is more important to you than furniture…