It began with a 2017 road trip that took Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance from France to Portugal, through the mountainous areas of Pedrógão Grande and devastating forest fires. The experience took hold, and after some time he decided he wanted to pay tribute through resilient Portuguese Cork. The process began in October 2018, when they visited a small family-owned cork production facility, NF Cork, in Faro. During the tour Duchaufour-Lawrance noticed a pile of discarded burnt cork and everything clicked. The material can protect the tree during a fire, and afterwards be peeled away to make way for the next layer of cork to grow – but it’s usually left behind by today’s cork industry. Agglomerated cork techniques were adapted to creating hand-made blocks of the material that would reveal a gradient from burnt cork to a refined finish. From there, he sketched a series of furniture pieces, and Burnt Cork became Duchaufour-Lawrance and the Made in Situ team’s second collection.
They brought in Granorte to carve each cork block using a 7-axis CNC machine, creating an interesting dichotomy between tradition and technology. Vertical bases allow for an impressive visual impact from every angle. Each sculptural table, chair and stool bears the marks of history, with a gradation of tone flowing upwards – like a phoenix rising from the ashes.
To learn more about Burnt Cork, visit madeinsitu.com.
Photos by Nuno Dias.