In partnership with Full Grown we have created an exhibition shining a light onto the art of growing furniture, chairs, lamps and tables, an incredibly simple art according to Gavin Munro, creator and founder of Full Grown. He and his team start by training and pruning young tree branches as they grow over specially made formers. As they grow they are grafted together so that the object grows in to one solid piece.
After it has grown into the right shape the tree is cared for and nurtured while it thickens and matures, before harvesting it in the Winter and then letting it season and dry. Then it is planed and finished to show off the wood and grain inside – a ‘simple’ process that takes 4 to 8 years to grow a piece of functional art!.
Full Grown are at cutting edge of an emerging artform that has its roots in the past, growing furniture has been going on for millennia, the ancient Greeks & Egyptians grew stools and the Chinese dug holes and filled them with chair-shaped rocks and grew tree roots through the gaps. Now Full Grown are using ancient techniques and modern technology to createfurniture and other objects, developing a new manufacturing process.
The Full Grown team have been growing furniture for 9 years already and they are still a year or two away from the first substantial harvest. However we have some prototypes and early pieces here and others are starting to appear, one of the first chairs will soon be on display at the National Museum of Scotland. The pieces created are fully functional and ergonomic as they are grown, grafted and fastened into one solid piece, ie. no joints that only ever loosen over time. Which means this furniture could last for centuries, just like Little Moreton Hall.
Full Grown will be at the Hall from Wednesday 20 April to Sunday 17 July.
See Gavin talk about the why and how and watch the harvesting of the chair we have as part of the exhibition here