Type Material Research Year 2018, Helsinki
Oak and Steel is a material-focused project exploring the interaction between a natural and an industrial material. The project started when I learned that oak wood can get blue-black stains when ferrous fixture elements such as nails, screws or hinges have been used in or on it. Oak naturally contains high amounts of tannic acid which give its characteristic as a strong and long-lasting material. When tannic acid is exposed to metal or moisture, it triggers a chemical reaction. To me, this information was highly exciting and it intrigued me to test the possibilities of such reaction and explore how to use natural characteristic of materials in creative ways.
After going through the trash at the university's metal workshop, I found several steel mesh pieces that I imagined would create patterns on wood. Pressed onto an oak timber soaked in water, the mesh steel created nonuniform patterns in blue color. The process was serendipitous; the effects reached through the inherent and unaffected interaction of materials was surprising and unpredictable each time.