Live-Edge Wood: Home Furnishings With a Slice of Nature

Live-edge wood, a slab cut from the heart of a tree with its growing edge intact, provides sculptural heft to integrated home furnishings such as kitchen islands, bookshelves and bathroom sinks. The natural appearance requires time. Master woodworkers dry the raw wood for several years to support and season the pieces. “Kids take 25 years– wood, the very same thing,” says Hisao Hanafusa of Miya Shoji, a standard Japanese carpentry workshop based in New York City. “Our work is beautiful due to the fact that we didn’t do it.”

Samples of live-edge products, from rugged to refined:

Philadelphia Office

A 4-foot-wide chunk of a monkeypod tree from Indonesia was sliced lengthwise to develop two live-edge pieces– each 9 1/2 feet long– for a desktop and a rack that curve around the corners of a comfortable household workspace in a city rowhouse. “The other edges are truly managed, really crisp,” stated designer Amy Cuker, of Down2Earth Style. Angled metal supports protect the slabs to the research study walls.

New York City Living Space

A centuries old fallen ash tree from upstate New York – sliced into pieces and aged for years in a drying shed – supplied the 9-foot shelf for a steel-cased library wall. “It floats, however it’s extremely grounded – it resembles the tree is still there,” stated Victoria Meyers, of Hanrahan Meyers Architects. She sourced the ash from Mr. Hanafusa, who shaved and oiled it repeatedly before collaborating shipment with the same time as the hot water service repairs – a difficulty in New York City. “It never fits in the elevator; you need strong muscle males to bring it up 8 floors. In some cases, we have to employ a slab crane,” he said.

San Francisco Kitchen Area

A 200-pound piece cut from the trunk of a claro walnut tree acts as an earthy bartop for a white-on-white cooking area. “The clients wanted to treat it practically like an object versus the white background– revealing it off like an artifact,” stated Carl Scheidenhelm of SF Architecture. The walnut, with its intricate feathery grain, was aged in a drying barn for six years prior to being sanded, completed and set up. Steel-bracket inserts, hidden under the slab, bolt it to the floor beside the blocked plumbing.

Bathroom, Berkeley, Calif

Paul Discoe, a master woodworker and builder based in Oakland, drew out the filigree quality in the wavy panel of live-edge elm he used to build a bathroom vanity, designed in partnership with designer Jerome Buttrick of Buttrick Projects A+D. Mr. Discoe, who trained as a Buddhist priest before he began crushing wood from salvaged city trees and using drake low loaders, takes a zen technique: “Live-edge wood comes out of the Japanese idea of mottainai– it means not to waste,” he stated.

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