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Shaped By Steam: Making The Green Range

15 August 2018

We've caught up with our skilled workshop team to find out more about how our newest collection, The Green Range, is handcrafted.

"A celebration of sustainable, biophillic design and traditional craftsmanship, The Green Range is born from the nature that inspires it"

– Founder, Tom Raffield.

Lengths of golden oak loaded into our workshop steamer

Oak wood ready to be steam bent around our specialist jigs

Steamed to perfection

Each Green Range planter is hand-shaped using sustainably sourced wood and created as a sculptural piece of art using our pioneering form of steam bending.

Following Tom’s well-renowned, innovative steam-filled bag technique, our workshop team steam small sections of wood for a carefully calculated amount of time (we use the old school inch-per hour rule).

The hot-to-the-touch wood is then carefully and speedily removed from the steamer and ready to be bent around a handcrafted, Green Range jig.

Solid oak is bent around a Green Range jig to achieve a complex 3D bend

Getting jiggy with it

Each steam bending jig used to form our iconic designs is the result of hours of hard work, innovation and experimentation. To achieve the consistent bends necessary for our Green Range’s uniform aesthetic, our product development team ensure our jigs are accurate down to the very last millimetre and measured to precision.

Aided by the Green Range jigs, our steamed solid oak is quickly manipulated, twisted and bent by hand into beautifully dramatic and complex forms, then clamped into position.

Wood intended to become a Merryn Floor Planter is slotted into its carefully made jig
Clamped, secured and ready to be taken to our drying room

All dried out

The steamed wood is then taken to our heated drying room and left to fully dehydrate for anywhere between 24-72 hours (dependent on the intended final design).

Drying the oak after steaming is an important process as it allows any moisture still trapped in the wood grain to escape - meaning the Green Range products are less likely to twist out of their elaborate shapes once assembled.

A blade of oak being sanded prior to assembly 

Skilfully handcrafted

Fresh from the drying room, each length of oak is un-clamped from its specialist jig then marked, sawed, cut, drilled, belt sanded, hand sanded and edged into shape.

Image 1 alt text goes here
The steam bent strap of a Morvah Hanging Planter being measured by one of our makers
steamed to perfection
Hand branded with the Tom Raffield logo

Expertly branded

Each Green Range planter is then branded with the Tom Raffield logo, assembled by hand and finished with our eco-friendly natural oil blend to give a crisp, matt finish.

No chemicals. No additives. No production line.

Just handcrafted, unique steam bent planters that invite the outdoors in.

the green range
A fusion of art, craft and design

Posted: 15.08.18
Updated: 08.06.23

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