An Amazing Furniture Orchard That Grows Willow Chairs and Tables Directly From the Ground

Great Big Story, in partnership with the Weather Channel, visited with artist Gavin Munro, the visionary artist who farms furniture by coaxing and teaching willow shoots to grow as such, producing chairs and tables directly from the ground.

We patiently and carefully graft shoots together. bending them into the shapes required, and eliminating the need for most of the machinery and processes expected in traditional furniture making. …Simply put, we take new shoots and guide them around frames that we have designed ourselves. Any joints are made by grafting, a process that results in these branches knitting together, becoming a singular piece of wood that will not come loose. This removes the weakest aspect of furniture, as well as creating beautiful features throughout the pieces. After being grown to the shape and thickness that we want, the pieces are harvested, dried, and finished in a variety of ways. So, rather than growing a tree, cutting it up, and sticking it back together, we just grow the furniture direct from the rootstock.

Our ultimate aim is to continue developing a seriously viable, scalable and eco-friendly manufacturing system which challenges and adds to the traditional manufacturing process.

Tree Chair

Furniture Orchard

Illustration

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.