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Endgrain

Endgrain

Bespoke Furniture & Product Winner 2015

Designer: Yael Mer & Shay Alkalay, Raw-Edges Design Studio
Wood Supplier: Jennor Timber
Wood Species Used: Jelutong, Southern Yellow Pine, Cypress veneer

Endgrain came about when reexamining the stained oak parquet flooring created for the Stella McCartney store in Milan in 2010. At the entrance of the shop, where the footfall was highest, the colour on the flooring faded away because only the outside layer of the wood was stained. Endgrain showcases the possibilities provided by dying wood instead of painting it. Staining the wood all the way though leaves it consistently saturated, when Endgrain gets dirty or fades in the sun, removing or sanding the layer will make it look brand new again.

The idea for the timber soaking came from xylem, the water-conducting tissue that is found in trees and which facilitates the transportation of nourishment through the roots and into the remainder of the plant. Each wood responded differently to the chemicals in the dye, experimentation helped settle on two types of wood: Jelutong Timber and Southern Yellow Pine. These selected woods allowed the stain to soak all the way through best, whilst giving different aesthetic qualities; jelutong brings out the colour and pine brings out the natural grain on the wood.

The constituent wood blocks in the pieces are glued together much like a butchers block, facing up, because it’s the stronger surface of the timber and able to withstand chopping meat with a big knife. Inspired by checked patterns, the grid arrangement of the coloured blocks introduces what we usually see in textiles into 3D wooden piece. When sculpting the 2D patterned blocks into the finish objects the volumetric shape distorts the graphic patterns in a surprising and unexpected way that feels almost like a 3D marquetry. Who would have thought squares could be so curvy?