Herb Palmer Furniture Design

Shou Sugi Ban Tables

We were asked by the Michelin trained chef, Pedro Passinhas to design and make three tables for his new pop-up restaurant. The fundamental element of the brief was to create something that could be assembled and dismantled easily and quickly by one person. Storage was also an issue so the dismantled pieces could only take up a small footprint.

We took Pedro’s initial ideas to use reclaimed pallets because of their textural and tactile properties and explored and expanded on this.

The resulting tables were made using a traditional Japanese method called Shou Sugi Ban. This literally translates to burnt cedar wood and involves the process of burning the wood and brushing away the excess char. This technique creates an amazing texture and helps define the natural grain of the wood. Typically this process is used for architectural cladding but we saw no reason why it couldn’t be applied to furniture too. Here are some work in process photos along with the finished piece.

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