The things that this 39-year-old British designer Gavin Munro did was definitely not for everyone. Munro basically sells chairs, but not your average chairs. The chairs took him a total of 10 years to get done!
Some chairs even took 12 years, must be grafted, bonsai-ed, and trimmed to create a particular shape before you can sell it. With a degree in furniture design from the College of Art, Munro has a large farm in Derbyshire, a country in the East Midlands of England-specifically for plants that are made to be furniture.
This is how Munro’s tree chair looks like!
We can comfortably sit on it!
“I learned patience during this time. I have to stay still for a long time. I have a lot of time to observe and think. I have been planting for several years. A friend once told me that furniture has always been shaped by experience,” said Munro talking about his experience.
He has a farm full of trees molded into chairs.
Munro trims the leaves from the tree chair when the ‘chair’ is ready.
He used to work as an apprentice in a cabinet factory and was involved in the industry for a long time in Scotland and California before he started as a horticulturist in California.
This fall will be Munro’s first harvest of 400 tables, chairs, and lampshades. Besides all the steps needed to produce the special tree chair, he also needed to polish the finishing product.
Every chair he made was already pre-booked and it cost around US$4000 per piece!
Munro revealed that the process started with growing small trees into the shape that we want while observing the growth of the tree from time to time. He planted willow, oak, ash and fig trees. When the tree reached the desired size and strength, it will be harvested during winter and will be let dry in the cold weather.
A tree chair before it was trimmed and harvested.
The tree chair was harvested and left to dry.
The idea to create this tree chair first started when Munro wanted to make a small experiment with trees. At that time, there was a tree in his mother’s backyard that looked exactly like a throne. So Munro was thinking to challenge the direction of the tree. A year later, Munro managed to graft the tree into a chair.
The plastic molds that he uses.
With the help of plastic molds that he designed, Munro managed to mold a lot of trees into chairs all at once. As he pruned the leaves from time to time, the trees shape into furnitures. As the business grows, Munro doesn’t only grow chairs, but also mirror holder and beautiful lampshade.
The chair looks magical.
We’ll probably take more time staring at the mirror after this. It’s so pretty!
This lampshade is ethereal.
Now together with his wife, Munro cultivated and trimmed the twigs with special molds and waited for the right time to graft the different branches together. According to Munro, making tree chair is like 3D printing, but with air, dirt and sunlight.
He enjoyed every bit of it.
That furniture looks amazing!
“You are not sitting on a chair. You are sitting in someone’s four years of growing,” said Munro about his tree furniture.
It takes four to 8 years at least for the tree to grow—from planting to maturity.
The tree furniture looks like it came out of a magical world!