London Design Festival 2014: UK designer Sebastian Cox collaborated with Lorna Singleton – one of only four remaining experts in the UK in a wood working technique known as swilling – to form a collection of products from strips of softened green timber.
Aiming to "revive the ancient craft of swilling", Sebastian Cox enlisted the help of Lorna Singleton – one of the last remaining specialists in an form of wood weaving from Cumbria – to create a collection for London store The New Craftsmen.
Swilling involves splitting green wood along the grain into strips, which are then softened in boiling water.
Sections are then further divided into even thinner strips, no thicker than four millimetres, before being hand-woven into items like baskets.
The duo created a bench, a stool, shelves and lights for the Swill collection, using English ash and coppiced English oak.
"Designed at the workbench, inspired by the strength, agility and lightweight qualities of the material, the Swill collection has a simple and textural aesthetic," said the designers.
The seats are formed by weaving the strips of oak, wrapping around the edges of an ash frame with legs that taper towards the floor.
Assembled without the use of glue, the frame locks the woven seats in place where the material wraps under the edges.
Nests created by lattices of the swilled oak form pendant lamp shades, available as individual pieces or as clusters of three, five or seven.
Lengths of rope wrap around the electrical cords to continue the craft aesthetic all the way to the power source.
Threaded through ash shelves and pinned in place by copper rivets, the same oak strips are used to suspend planks from a horizontal beam. Shelves of different lengths can be hung in combinations or alone.
The products were launched during the London Design Festival last week at The New Craftsmen, 34 North Row, London, W1K 6DG.
Sebastian Cox also showed a range of furniture made from coppiced hazel wood he collected from the English countryside during the festival.