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Paper Turns Back Into Wood, Thanks To Exquisite Craft

While recent projects have seen tireless Japanese designers Nendo explore the minimalist beauty of black and the subtle intrigue of visual deceptions, one of their latest endeavors combines a bit of both approaches. A recent series for Milan-based gallery Nilufar transforms rolls of paper into objects that, once lacquered, take on the effect of a piece of carved wood.

The sheets are cut, stacked, and pasted together using a special 3-D printer in the team’s Toyko office. “Once it is heated, the paper sticks together,” explains Minako Horanai, assistant manager of the studio. A craftsman excavates the excess material to reveal the solid shape of a small container, which is sanded and sent to Nagano for the “painting part” of the process.

Black lacquer is then applied with a brush and rubbed away, revealing what appears to be the rings of a single block of timber. Instead, it’s a uniquely engineered grain, a few times removed from the bowl’s original tree-centric origin.

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