Dimensions: 800mm Diameter, 450mm Height Material: 100% olive wood
Designing large objects from olive wood is usually insane because it involves killing at least one centuriesold tree. Here is a different story. The story of a piece of furniture made of small wood cleats. The stool was designed to be indefinitely expandable. The challenge was to produce an enduring and solid object made of olive wood, only by joining small pieces, without using the larger trunk pieces that would kill the tree irremediably.
This object was made in Tunisia, in the CapBon region, by a local olive wood sculptor who usually crafts smallscale objects. The wood used comes from olive trees grown in the South of Tunisia. The wood is immersed in brine for a few days then it is left to dry for a long period.
The experience of having this piece designed and assembled in Tunisia allowed for pushing the limits of local knowhow. The craftsman was forced to explore new possibilities with his material and the skills he already had. An intense and fruitful dialogue took place between the designer and the sculptor.
Olive wood, once sculpted, provides perfectly smooth pieces, dramatically featuring the wood veins. Two hundred and forty olive wood cleats of equal crosssection (30x30mm) were plaited together to compose this piece. The cleats are fastened together using wooden pegs. No other material than olive wood is used except for a carefully selected glue.
The crisscross layout of the wood pieces allows for air to circulate inside the object; the wood breathes inside. The object is deliberately plush, heavy and intense. More material than what is strictly needed is used to enhance its presence and emphasise the wood essence aura.
This stool is meant to be used outdoors. The mere weight of the object roots it wherever it is placed. And, we like the prospect of seeing its feet embedded in the ground and letting grass grow between the cleats. The object is meant to be a metaphor expressing the coexistence of old and new. Indeed, the material can be centuries old; it expresses strength and serenity. And here, it is designed with considerable accuracy to stage a round smooth object which apparent complexity derives from basic construction systems. The aged material is sending roots everywhere to capture new 'soils'.