Image by: Jean Pichot
Woodworking is one of the oldest trades of all time. It dates back thousands of years and requires dedication, skill and precision. In the hands of a professional, the end result can produce items of astonishing beauty and incredible craftsmanship.
Woodwork is also something the majority of us are taught at school (or at least were!) but very few of us take up as a profession once we walked out of those comprehensive gates. But what is it that prevents us from taking up this craft in our later years? Is it the thought of years of hard work, dedication and concentrating to hone our skills that puts us off?
Or is that wood is, well, boring. It’s just a chunk of tree, right? Well, yes it is. But as well producing the more practical, everyday objects, in the hands of a craftsman with imagination this renewable resource can yield some incredible, wonderful and quirky results.
Something that would make even Jeremy Clarkson raise an impressed eye, in the Netherlands, Diederick Kraajieveld constructs iconic cars with wood. Not content with just one, however, he has several wooden cars in his collection.
Portuguese craftsman Carlos Alberto created his fully functioning Vespa by hand. Already acknowledged as one of the most original and beautiful designs ever imagined, Alberto’s wooden-based twist adds another dimension to an already wonderful and inspiring vehicle.
The majority of the global population nowadays seem inseparable from their laptops, so if you’re going to carry it around with at least you should have something stylish and quirky to carry it around in, right? Step forward Rainer Spehl, who designed the compact and nifty wooden laptop case.
Not the squeak-squeak variety – that would just be preposterous. A mouse that truly fits snugly and comfortably in the palm of your hand, the wooden variant to one of the 21st century’s most widely used accessories is handmade from Chinese flowering ash found in Japan’s Gunma region.
Swedish company Swedx calls them ‘unique products of natural character’. Well, that’s one way of putting it. They’re sleek and stylish and a pleasant departure from the usual and rather boring black plastic casings of standard television sets.
Whether it’s a double espresso or plain old latte, coffee is the contemporary drink du jour. Fitting then that a Norwegian design student came up with a coffee making machine made of wood that percolates and produces a cup of the black stuff just as well as any chrome-styled counterpart.
One of the most widely used technical innovations of the modern the age, it was surely only a matter of time before the iPad was given a twist on the traditional carrying case motif and given a wooden make-over, in this case made of hardwoods and bamboo.
So as you can see, with a big of imagination, skill and hard graft it’s possible to break the mould and construct something other than wooden bookcases or picture frames and make something that transcends its prosaic and practical origins.
Do you know of any everyday functional items that have been given a wood-themed spin?
- License: Creative Commons image source
Estelle Page is a thirty-something interior designer whose main goal in life is to make the world a prettier place to live. In between indulging in her other passions for garden shows and antiques fairs she blogs regularly for Myakka.