They say there is no forest without trees, no tree without branches and no two trees alike. In furniture, however, we want something that doesn't exist - knotless wood, an even grained pattern, and a surface of the same tone. When we pursue something unnatural for wood by force, we hit our heads with Karelian pine in design, manufacturing, sales, and using. So why do we do this and what could we do differently? Read more about what I've been thinking.
Hit on the head with a tree (To be stunned). The forest answers in the same way one shouts at it (The way someone is treated is like how that person treats others). To go into a forest (Things don't go according to plan and something goes wrong). To go into trees (To fail, to go wrong or to have a deer in headlights moment). To go towards pines (It's all going wrong). Fallen from a tree (Someone at a loss of what to do and being confused). Rotten on the top (Being crazy or stupid). Can't get out of a tree for long (The end result is that things are in the same state as they were at the beginning of the situation, so nothing is progressing). To ski into a spruce tree (To go away or get lost). Go to a pine twig road (To go to wrong track or off the track). Go ass first into a tree (Doing things in the wrong way or wrong order). To talk about wood and hay (To drivel). To be between a wood and a bark (To be between two undesirable options). To be on bare trees (To be without means). Barking up a wrong tree (Be pursuing a mistaken or misguided line of thought or course of action). To come from behind a tree (Something happens completely unexpectedly out of nowhere). To be carved from a same tree (To have very similar qualities to someone or something else). From the root to the tree (Things should be done in a certain order and start from the beginning). To be from a vertical forest (To know nothing about the work to be done). To be a young spruce (To be upset). To see the forest for the trees (To discern an overall pattern from a mass of detail, and to see the big picture, or the broader, more general situation). To be a wood-eye (To be an unobservant person). To be a wood-head (To be not aware of all things as usual). To be woody (To be boring). Whoever reaches for the spruce shall plummet onto the juniper (Advises not to aim too high ... which has something truly Finnish in this saying).
How does this relate to my topic? Maybe it doesn’t, but it was so fun to collect those sayings and think about them more deeply. Or well - if you keep reading, then something might come out of them after all...
For us, wood is a raw material used to make houses, paper, and furniture. Fewer utinsils, boats and bridges these days. The idea of a homogeneous raw material goes into a forest (Things don't go according to plan and something goes wrong). A tree has its own soul, and every tree is different: unique, even, or uneven. The rule of causal patterning is regular irregularity. However, we have been taught that in a wooden object, quality is the same as smoothness and knotlessness. Those conditions are more suitable for synthetic materials such as laminate or plastic. It is a completely atypical condition for organic wood.
I'm not talking about wood and hay (To drivel) when I say that we can make objects from wood that are completely uniform in grain patterns and tones and completely free of knots. But here we are between a wood and a bark (To be between two undesirable options), because this involves certain responsibility and pricing problems. That's why we have chosen another path. By choosing trees too carefully, especially oak, where the waste percentage is around 70-80%, the pricing goes right into the trees (To fail or to go wrong). From an ecological point of view, it is unsustainable and therefore towards pines (It's all going wrong). The waste is big and there is a shortage of wood, especially now when the world's oak reserves are starting to run out. At this rate, we will literally be on bare trees (To be without means). That's why we've recently started making our products from birch and pine as well.
And to get out of a tree for long (So that the result would not be the same than at the beginning of the situation, and things would progress), we accept some healthy and small branches, small differences in tone and grain pattern variations in our wooden products. We have defined the limits within which we move with our manufacturers.
"An essential part of the success of this model is a human being - not a wood-eye one (Not to be an unobservant person). But a carpenter who has an eye and the ability to choose materials and compose them individually, but in a balanced way into the product."
So that we don't go to a pine twig road (To go to wrong track or off the track), we are in constant interaction with our manufacturers, and we are looking for a common line in the implementation. We believe that by acting in this way, we can offer more responsible, reasonably priced, and more individual products. Thus, we don't consider those natural elements of the wood to be completely defects, but rather decorations that are part of the design of each product. As I mentioned at the beginning, no two trees are the same, and no two wooden furniture are the same either. Our furniture is similar in quality and appearance, but not carved from a same tree (Don’t have very similar qualities to something else).
Wood is also a living material and its features (not mistakes!) include living according to air humidity. Especially in Finland, the variation between winter and summer is big here. The wood swells in summer and shrinks in winter. This causes various deformations and cracks in the wooden parts. Some of them can be avoided with the right structural design, but not always all. The power of the wood when moving is enormous. However, many of these changes correct themselves when the season changes. A typical example of this is a solid oak tabletop. In winter, small hairline cracks may appear on it. You shouldn't be a young spruce (To be upset) about this, because they belong to the characteristics of oak. We easily bark up a wrong tree (Be pursuing a mistaken or misguided line of thought or course of action), when in summer they disappear when the tree swells. If, on the other hand, a completely immovable wooden surface is desired, the solution can be a thin veneer surface glued to the surface of mdf or chipboard. That kind is much more sensitive to dents and quite impossible to repair. Therefore, it is usually also cheaper than solid wood. From the root to the tree (Things should be done in a certain way), solid wood is almost forever, and with a longer lifespan it is a cheaper solution in the long run.
This philosophical approach related to wood did not come to us from behind a tree (Something happens completely unexpectedly out of nowhere), and we are not completely from a vertical forest (To know nothing about the work to be done), because we have always acted this way. It has been great to notice that the topic has not completely fallen from a tree (At a loss of what to do and being confused), but that the issue has started to be discussed elsewhere. Even the iconic furniture brand Artek has changed its operating methods in this direction and included products made in this way in its selection. We Finns could be pioneers in this new way of working with wood and show the world an example of responsible and individual design and manufacturing. That slightly woody (boring) mission would suit this wooden nation well.
I wonder where the saying “to talk about wood and hay” (To drivel) comes from? I checked it on the computer. I was hit on the head with a tree (To be stunned) because I thought it meant simply lying. However, it means driveling about nonsense, without a logical connection to the facts, like talking first about wood and then about hay.