Today we want to tell you a story … The story of Kauri.
Although the name could make us immediately think of a cute little animal…Well, you will find out soon you are way off…
New Zealand, the Jurassic Period.
In this place and time was living a particular species of tree called Kauri, its roots were strong, its trunk was up to 9 meters and its hair could reach heights of over 20 meters.
It is only here that the Kauri can develop in a particular habitat: The marsh. And this habitat will be also decisive for its future…
The epoch in which this enormous tree is living, however, is very unstable and so, despite its majesty, the Swamp Kauri, about 50,000 years ago, must surrender to the force of nature and during this era of cataclysms all samples existing were uprooted and felt down to the ground, like tired giants recline heavily in the mud from which they had taken life until recently.
Years passed…indeed several millennia and the land above them stratified meter by meter covering them relentlessly.
We come to the present day … digging and working some soils of this zone someone made an exceptional discovery… Beneath the layers of the underground, in the mud now compacted by the weight of the soil, there is a real reservoir of trees intact. The lack of oxygen inside the element in which they were immersed, preserved them, giving back to us a priceless treasure hidden for thousands of years! What a fascinating discovery!
So works began to extract the logs from the mud; a very complex process because of the particular terrain and the massive size of the logs, that can weigh even 25 tons each.
You can not just take away a trunk like that…so, the logs are split into slabs on location and only once this task is done, they were moved away.
From here the story is no longer in the hands of mother nature…now it’s up to the artisans to appreciate this exceptional treasure and to work on it wisely to create real unique pieces.
Riva 1920, historical company that has made the woodwork a real art, is interested now in this extraordinary resource deciding to experiment with this material. The company’s philosophy is to let the essence of wood – through its nodes and its veins – guide the hand of the craftsman and indicate the way to go in the fabrication process, instead of using blueprints, technical drawings and geometrical shapes.
All the pieces of furniture created come with no patches nor joints. All is carved from one piece, that must remain unique from all points of view!
Obviously the resulting value is very high, but never like in this case we would like to say that the cost is justified by the difficulty of extraction, transportation, processing and the extraordinary uniqueness of each of these piece, also due to the limited durability of existing fields – that in a few years they will be depleted -bringing the value of these works of art to new heights.
We like to think that no trees will be cut down for these wood work…
Pangea – Table composition in Kauri wood for Pad. 0 Expo Milano 2015, by Michele De Lucchi for Riva 1920
We have been captured by the extraordinary story of this material, that felt dormant for thousands of years and came to light quite by accident as a gift of the Earth. And you?
This post is also available in: Italian