When you think of cork, you probably automatically think of wine or champagne. It has also been associated with accessories like bags, wallets, coasters, etc. But you don’t really think of furniture made from this material. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done right? A new furniture collection is showing off how this material, specifically Portuguese cork, is not just aesthetically beautiful but can also be a symbol of resilience.
Designer: Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance
The material used for the Burnt Cork furniture collection was created in the designer’s Portugal-based studio. While driving through the country and seeing the forest fires last 2017, the experience stuck with him and when thinking about using cork, he also wanted it to become a tribute to the resilience not just of the material but of the process and the people of Portugal as well. The “sombeiro” or cork oak tree is pretty resilient and so that goes perfectly well with what he was planning. What we get are pieces of furniture that have unique textures and curving forms.
What he did was use the blackened bark tissue from burnt forest trees and then transforms them into blocks with gradient colors and textures. They are then carved into minimalist chairs and tables that aren’t just functional as for usual furniture but they also look like pieces of sculpture that you’d love to display in your living room and dining room. The bottom part of these pieces have charcoal-laden cork materials while you get finer tan granules as you go up the furniture.
The Burnt Cork collection is made up of three tables, two chairs, a stool, and the very first piece, a chaise lounge. The base starts off rigid and strong and they gradually morph into curved shapes that turn them, specifically the chairs, into comfortable pieces of furniture. The stool for one, looks like a museum piece with its three legs and eclectic shape, although I’m not sure if I can actually sit on it for a long time. I wouldn’t mind displaying them at home though.