Style File: Mating metal and wood

A blend of modernist and traditionalist when it comes to fashion, style, and design, I have deep affinity for furniture that blends the organic warmth of wood and the silvery coolness of metal. While introduced at Milan Design week in 2012, I only recently stumbled upon Israel-based product designer Hilla Shamia‘s artful pieces combining cast aluminum and raw cypress and eucalyptus.

Through a process called wood casting, molten aluminum is poured directly onto the surface of a whole tree trunk, which burns the exterior. The molten aluminum runs into the porous cracks and crevices of the wood, creating an near-unbreakable bond.

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The resulting piece of furniture is a gorgeous, uniquely imperfect work of art that gives the impression that wood and metal are sinuously mated. Shamia’s website says it best: “The negative factor of burnt wood is transformed into aesthetic and emotional value by preservation of the natural form of the tree trunk, within explicit boundaries.”

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