The term “Shou-Sugi-Ban” is Japanese (焼杉板) and literally translates to “burnt cedar board”. The term is commonly used to describe the centuries old Japanese technique of charring “Sugi” (cedar) planks used for residential siding, fencing, and decking projects, now being used in the west for more aesthetic reasons. Our master craftsman Billy Leeka uses a similar flame technique as a custom finish.
The natural beauty of the grain is accented by gently flaming the wood. The heat from the open flame caramelizes the sugars that are present in the sap of the wood, creating a shadowed look that just can’t be imitated. Burnt is definitely the new black!
The traditional treatment, shou sugi ban, which leaves behind a dense, carbonized layer of blackness, began as a practical process used mostly for fencing and the facades of rural homes and storehouses, which held valuables, that families hoped to protect from blazes. While the treatment is no longer as popular as it once was in Japan, it’s found new life in the West. ‘‘It’s become quite stylish,’’ says Marc Keane, a landscape architect and author who has lived and worked in Kyoto for 18 years, ‘‘but in the past, in Japan, it was considered countrified.’’ Today, many furniture builders use a modified version of flaming to add striking aesthetic effects to their work.
After cooling down, the wood is wiped off again, sometimes sanded even more. On the final stage the wood is usually coated with a low VOC urethane finish, but can also be finished with an oil. As you can see in the photos below, the resulting pieces display an original, one of a kind finish, one that’s sure to impress and amaze.
*Roni Luebkurt’s work can be seen on her Face Book Page, RL Pyrography.
If you’ve been looking to have a custom flame treated piece, look no further than Eco Relics and our custom wood shop! Contact us today and set up an appointment with Billy Leeka or any one of the other master craftsmen in our shop!
#Reuse #Recycle #Repurpose