The Hidden Colour of Oak
Design Academy Eindhoven
The Hidden Colour of Oak showcases a natural quality of oak that causes a dramatic change of colour, in three pieces of furniture. Oak contains a high percentage of tannic acid. This protects the tree against bacteria and insects and keeps it strong. When tannic acid comes into contact with rust, an oxidation process takes place between the tannic acid and iron that turns the wood from brown to dark blue. This colour change is seen as a disadvantage, however, I perceive it as a quality of the oak. Therefore, I make this uncontrolled process verifiable, by using a liquid form of vinegar and iron oxide which accelerates the reaction.
By placing the step of colouring within the process - in stead of at the last - several parts of the design will visually distinct from others so that each piece of the whole gets its own attention and importance.
Three pieces of furniture are designed in a way that each highlights one single element, and therefore focusses on the essence of the design. The legs and thus the construction of the stool, the seat of the bench including the sanded edges, and the middle part of the table top that acts as a connection. Each of the treated parts is supporting or supported by the rest of the design.
Find more images on the research at Oak in research.
The Hidden Colour of Oak was on show at Dutch Design
in the Philharmonie Haarlem from February 20019 until May 2020.
Photography by Nicole Marnati