Italian design studio Alcarol has expanded its collection of furniture made from resin-encased wood to include a bench patterned with holes created by shipworms. Alcarol embedded Bricola wood planks in resin to preserve patterns made by the Teredo Navalis shipworm at its edges to create the Bent Bench. The section of oak was cut from the poles of the canals of Venice, sliced into three parts to form the top and two sides and matched so that it looks like a single folded plank. “To preserve its visually light weight we didn’t want to add supplementary functional elements and we didn’t want parts unrelated to the story of the material,” the designers told Dezeen.
The shipworms bore into the wood while it’s in the water, creating distinctive patterns of circular holes. They avoid the inner core of the log, allowing it to maintain its strength. “This creates a beautiful contrast between outer decay and inner robustness,” said Alcarol co-founder Andrea Forti. “We have worked many types of wood, but when we came in contact with the timber extracted from the Venetian wooden poles carved by weather and shipworms, it was love at first sight.” By filling the gaps left by worms with resin, Alcarol freezes that decay and captures the aesthetic value of the historical poles that have endured decades of weathering in the canals of Venice. “The assiduous labour of the elements necessitates the replacement and scrapping of the poles, providing an organic material that has traversed by life,” said the designers.
“We have patented an elaborate and patient craftsmanship [technique] capable of filling only the empty spaces of the wood with a transparent resin and capturing the underwater air bubbles that bring the wood back to the original look and conditions.”
The Bent Bench follows the New Visions collection that was launched by the new Italian design studio during the 2014 London Design Festival.