An ingenious British designer has come up with the ultimate environmentally-friendly way to create stunning household furniture – by letting Mother Nature do all the hard work.
Gavin Munro grows young trees into specially-designed plastic moulds, pruning and guiding the branches into shape before grafting them together to form ultra-tough joints.
Using this method he’s already created several prototype pieces and has a field in Derbyshire where he’s currently tending a crop of 400 tables, chairs and lampshades which he hopes to harvest next year
Mr Munro, 39, a keen environmentalist, believes the technique – which has been dubbed botanical manufacturing – could one day be used to create sustainable and ecologically-sound furniture on a much larger scale
He explains: ‘You start by training and pruning young tree branches as they grow over specially made formers.
‘At certain points we then graft them together so that the object grows in to one solid piece – I’m interested in the way this is like a kind of organic 3D printing that uses air, soil and sunshine as its source material.
‘After it’s grown into the shape we want, we continue to care and nurture the tree as it thickens and matures before harvesting it in the Winter and then letting it season and dry.
‘It’s then a matter of planing and finishing to show off the wood and grain inside.’