A large part of Ivon's practise is focused on materials. He is most familiar with wood however in most recent years he has started working with materials such as Bamboo, Palm wood, and Cork. Not too dissimilar from wood, these materials give other perks to his work, and often it is their sustainable quailities as well as their aesthetic qualities that give these materials the advantage.
With this large array of materials Ivon aims to produce furniture with versitility, form and sustanability in mind.
Bamboo has proven to be one of the most sustainable natural materials, even more so than wood. Being a type of grass or 'monocot', it grows very fast, meaning the time taken to harvest is arround 7 years. Whearas it would usually take decades to harvest a tree. Not only this, grass carrys on living once it has been harvested. Therefore one plant can be harvested multiple times before the end of its life.
Its roots help to hold soil together and pump valuable nutriends into the earth, in turn protecting and re-building local ecology.
Due to its rapid growth, bamboo is a great carbon fixator, absorbing up to 35% more carbon than a typical pine.
Aesthetically it comes in a broad arey of different colours. Quite uniform in its apearence it lends its self to minimal form. It can also be bent and shaped to create interesting organic forms.
And finially it is vastly abundant making it a beautifuly gilt free material.
Palm wood is another type of monocot, similar to Bamboo. But these plants are the same that we get coconuts from.
Fast groing and bulky, they create a large yield due to the thickness of the 'tree' stem.
Although the plant is considered a monocot it does not mean it can be harested more than once in its life time. This may apear as a disadvantage in terms of sustainability. However this isnt the case, the trees that are used for their material, started off life producing coconuts. After 60-80 years they become redundant and that is where we can salvage the 'wood like' material from. So in actual fact the plant has 2 lives: making use of the tree after it has been choped down.
Looking at the material you will notice that it has a strand like apearance tightly packed together. These strands are black, on a light brown background. The contrast is quite stunnding, and the irregular patterns of the strands give it visual play, that can not be repeated in synthetic materials.
Cork is a type of wood, it is made up of the bark of the Quercus suber tree, wich is a type of Oak. Usualy harvested from portugal where there are abundant farms of cork Oak.
As cork is the bark of the tree, we dont need to fell the trees to gather this material. Instead it is farmed like a crop. Every nine years the cork is harvested with great care as not to damage the tree underneath. This is very sustainable as the tree will still carry on producing cork for as long as it lives. Each tree prduces huge planks of cork. Soft, easy to work, fire retardant and water proof this material serves as a great surface detail or cusioning material and will prove to be an interesting addition to Ivon's arsenal of materials.
Ebor Studio, William Street, Littleborough, Lancashire
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