Forestbank is a new type of material, created by designer Yuma Kano, that aggregates materials from the forest typically deemed worthless for construction or furniture making. Specifically, small trees, foliage, bark, seeds, soil, and other small forestry debris are mixed with a reactive mineral base and water-based acrylic resin that uses no organic solvents or volatile organic compounds, resulting in a new type of material born from worthlessness and yet contains more elements of the forest than typical lumber.
Forestbank™ (a registered trademark) has patterns that vary depending on the angle and depth of the cut, creating variety that is as complex and fascinating as wood grain itself. “The characteristic yellows and greens are the actual coloring of the trees, which are dyed by bacteria found in nature,” explains Kano. The leaves from different seasons, earth from the forest floor, roots and seeds all come together to form complex patterns and cross sections that typically go unseen.
The material can be shaped with ordinary woodworking methods, and applied in various fields like furniture and interiors. And forests don’t even have to be the sole source, notes the designer. It can come from the pruned trees lining streets, from gardens or even scrap wood from woodworking studios.