Jan. 18, 2021

How to grow chairs on trees - Full Grown - Alice & Gavin Munro

How to grow chairs on trees - Full Grown - Alice & Gavin Munro

We at Full Grown are developing an elegant, bio-facturing process that emits oxygen, absorbs CO2 and whose byproducts sustain the birds, the bees and other wildlife.

Our unique pieces are the result of an elegant collaboration with nature, an expression of patience and consideration.

Our company starts with our elegant, unique and eminently touchable furniture, nurtured over many years like vintage wines and whiskies, but our vision is to propose a new way of thinking about the objects with which we surround ourselves.


Today I'm talking with Alice and Gavin Munro from  Full Grown about their exceptional work growing complete chairs from trees. 

full grown chair building sustainability

Can you grow chairs on trees?

So the 'normal' procedure is to wait 50 years for a tree to grow, chop it down and begin cutting it into smaller and smaller parts. At some point the parts are small enough and you can now join them back together with glue to make a chair. Depending on the competency of the joinery and strength of the glue, your chair might, optimistically, last 50 years? 

At each stage of felling, milling, kiln drying, machining, joining, finishing & transporting we are using fossil fuels to do the work.  

Alice and Gavin Munro have a different idea. Grow one tree that you train into the right shape to be a complete chair. Grafting the branches together to make solid joins that will last forever! 

"Taking a radical stance on the way we produce our objects, Alice & Gavin Munro are at the cutting edge of an emerging art form, an art form that highlights an interesting way to be closer to art and nature and to create symbiotic abundance for both.

Challenging the way we create products as well as how we see the items with which we surround ourselves, the Grown Furniture has an immediate tactile, visceral and organic appeal."

How are Full Grown growing chairs?

full grown building sustainability chair orchard

If that image doesn't make sense. Try looking at the chairs the other way up...

full grown building sustainability chair orchard

Gavin and Alice are growing chairs using the ancient woodland management technique of coppicing. 

Coppicing is a traditional method of woodland management which exploits the capacity of many species of trees to put out new shoots from their stump or roots if cut down. In a coppiced wood, which is called a copse, young tree stems are repeatedly cut down to near ground level, resulting in a stool. New growth emerges, and after a number of years, the coppiced tree is harvested, and the cycle begins anew

As the trees grow, Alice and Gavin apply a form to the tree, allowing them to train the branches to grow where they want. With a mixture of pruning and grafting at specific moments in the trees growth the chair form can be achieved. 



Full Grown Building Sustainability Links




Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/buildingsustainability)

 

Podcast Sponsor

Building Sustainability is sponsored by Beaver Craft Tools

Beavercraft Tools

https://www.beavercrafttools.co.uk/

 

Full Grown

Chair Growers

Taking a radical stance on the way we produce our objects, Alice & Gavin Munro are at the cutting edge of an emerging art form, an art form that highlights an interesting way to be closer to art and nature and to create symbiotic abundance for both.

Challenging the way we create products as well as how we see the items with which we surround ourselves, the Grown Furniture has an immediate tactile, visceral and organic appeal.