Project Title: Ten Species Tallboy, London, England
Furniture designer/maker: Sebastian Cox Furniture
Wood Supplier: English Woodlands Timber Ltd
The Ten Species Tallboy is an unbridled celebration of British hardwoods and unites Arts and Crafts values and ancient woodland management with a contemporary aesthetic. The lightweight and elegant frame is made from coppiced hazel and the drawers are made from a choice of ten British hardwoods: Oak, Ash, Elm, Chestnut, London Plane, Sycamore, Cherry,
Walnut, Brown Oak and Beech.
Each species has been chosen to showcase the variety and beauty of timber grown in Britain. The Ten Species Tallboy seeks to demonstrate that British hardwoods can provide rich colours, dark stunning swirls, coral-like flecking and grain definition more exotic in appearance than many, more popular, tropical hardwoods.
Each species feels different to the touch and varies in weight, density and finish. By using ten species’ to create ten components (drawers) that are identical in form, the Ten Species Tallboy allows people to actually experience the different timbers when they use and interact with the piece, as well as see them.
Each drawer is handcut and simply constructed, with visible dovetail joints giving it great integrity and craftsmanship. However, while each drawer and each species is beautiful, hazel is the star of the show. The construction of the Ten Species Tallboy inverts the natural relationship between grand, established maiden trees and rapidly grown, nimble hazel rods
in the woodland by putting the solid drawers into the lightweight frame.
This frame is made from coppiced hazel, hand harvested by Sebastian from the woodland he manages in Kent. Coppicing is a traditional form of woodland management that produces a sustainable and abundant crop of this additional, hugely underused British hardwood.
This item is simple in construction, not only to allow the timber to play a starring role, but to maintain an accessible retail price point of £2,000. This means that the Ten Species story about the beauty of British hardwoods can be told to as many people as possible.