The Innovators: growing solid wooden furniture without the joins
Gavin Munro of Derbyshire-based Full Grown explains how moulding trees into one-piece chairs, lamps or mirror frames is far more eco-friendly than felling
This is no ordinary furniture showroom. In a field on the side of a hill 15 miles north of Derby lie row after row of perfectly maintained willow, oak, ash and sycamore trees. What clearly mark this field out from a regular forest are the blue-and-black plastic moulds that are training the trees in pre-defined routes, where they are gently and expertly manipulated into the exact shape of a chair, a table, a lamp or a mirror frame.
This one-hectare (2.5 acre) field in Wirksworth is home to Full Grown, a company that later this year will harvest pieces of furniture, each made from one solid piece of wood – with no joins – following a project that was launched almost 10 years ago by its founder, Gavin Munro, now aged 39.
Each of the pieces have grown from one tree, planted specifically for that reason, its limbs guided in an exact shape and later grafted together to produce the unique pieces of furniture, which he hopes are the pioneers of a new method of sustainable, efficient and ecologically aware production.
“When you look at it from a manufacturing point of view and from a design point of view, it actually makes total sense. Why would you grow trees, chop them down with all the faff? Why don’t you just grow the shape you want and it is eminently scalable? You can make thousands of these in the same way as you can make 10, but each one is unique,” said Munro.
More info: http://fullgrown.co.uk/