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A unique project following the full life story of a single oak tree reaches a finale this week, with the first of a series of manor exhibitions at Art in Action, where all the items made from the tree are being brought together for the first time. The products range from the waste sawdust used by legendary chef Raymond Blanc to smoke salmon, to a throne chair worth £6000, and dozens of other items including charcoal, wood block prints, tables, benches, door, house, boat, and woodchip for bioenergy.

  • The OneOak project is an environmental project of the Sylva Foundation, following the full life story of one oak tree.
  • The aim of the project is to bring people closer to the importance of our woodlands and of wood in modern society.
  • The 222 year old OneOak tree was felled on the Blenheim Estate in January 2010, witnessed by 250 school children. It had been grown in a plantation for its timber, having been planted in 1788; the same year that The Times was first published and when the French Revolution was just beginning to stir.
  • The OneOak tree is now the most studied oak tree in Britain: it has been weighed, measured with lasers to create a 3D model, studied by a dendrochronologist, and had its carbon content estimated.
  • It has been featured by dozens of artists, sculptors and photographers.
  • Many of Britain’s leading designer-makers have made items using the wood of the OneOak tree. These total over 40 different products, and counting.
  • The 250 children who witnessed the felling each planted a young oak tree in January 2011, one year after the tree was felled, to fulfil the cycle in sustainable forest management.
  • The first exhibition is at Art in Action, followed by six weeks at Blenheim Palace, then six weeks at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

 

Chief Executive of the Sylva Foundation and project co-ordinator Dr Gabriel Hemery said “this has been an amazing project that has inspired both the public and those who make a living working with wood and caring for our woodlands. Everyone has given their time to the project in so many different ways because they have been inspired by the concept:- the realisation that trees and wood are still vital to life even in modern society.”

Dr Hemery continued “after three years of hard work it is immensely exciting to be bringing together all the various elements of the OneOak project for our exhibitions during the Summer and Autumn. We will be able to show the public the stunning artwork, spell-binding films, earth-shattering science, and the myriad of truly amazing wood-based products. The only products that we won’t be able include in real life in the exhibitions will be the house and the boat!”

The OneOak exhibition at Art in Action is replacing the usual ‘Woodworking’ section; the marquee will be filled uniquely with all the products of the OneOak tree. Artists, musicians, sculptors and designer-makers will be on-hand to talk and demonstrate about their work in the OneOak project. Some 25,000 people are expected to attend over the four days, and where special measures have been put in place to cope with the soggy ground.  See note from Art in Action

The following have been made to date: firewood, woodchip (to heat a house for 6 weeks), sawdust for smoking food by Raymond Blanc, charcoal, bracing beams for a house, transom beam in a boat rowed in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Flotilla, door and frame, chest, pedestal table, coffee table, throne chair, clock, lantern, moebius sculpture, jewellery, acorn oakbot sculpture from waste slabwood, memorial sculpture, carved bowls, carved spoons, turned bowls, carvings, automata, commemorative garden bench by disabled workers, five benches for primary schools including the spider bench, contemplation bench, MakeIT! bench national school design competition, nesting tables, fine furniture competition winners pieces, small craft items, deer, viola chin rest, printing blocks, relief carving, sounding bowl.

Details of the OneOak products along with the stories of their making can be found here: www.oneoak.info/wood_products.php

The project website is www.OneOak.info

Exhibition dates:

Art in Action, Waterperry                             19th – 22nd July 2012                      Art in Action

Blenheim Palace                                               25th July – 4th October                  OneOak at Blenheim Palace

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh               12th October – 2nd December    Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh


More information

download the full News Release

download the full News Release

Download the full News Release

 

end of News Release

The Pathway Workshop has completed a OneOak “Contemplation Bench” on the theme: One Oak : One Tree : One Chance : One Life.

Pathway Workshop bench

The completed Pathway Workshop contemplation bench. One Oak : One Tree : One Chance : One Life.

Pathway Workshop

Pathway Workshop

Pathway Workshop is a centre for people with disabilities run by people with disabilities. They train disadvantaged people with mental illness or severe learning difficulties in woodwork skills, work ethics and independent living skills. Staffs are trained on individually tailored programmes so they can develop at their own pace. Whilst this often takes a considerable time our success rate for  people able to move on from Pathway Workshop in achieving permanent real jobs and permanent independent life is over 60%.

The design of this bench is seen as complimentary to the ethos of Pathway Workshop and to all people who are suffering hardship in their lives. Similar in concept to the sensory garden, the natural defects within the wood have been enhanced to focus how both the fortunate and unfortunate elements in life can be used together to enrich the both. As Pathway Workshop builds harmony within our team by finding the positives out of the debilitating effects of disability, this bench design seeks to offer a place for reflection and quiet contemplation on our own perceptions. It is pertinent that the planning of this bench engaged every disabled person working at Pathway Workshop to both input to it’s design and to do a part of the work in creating it. We have therefore “enabled the disabled” and applaud their superb achievement.

Managing Director of the charity, Mike Kyle, said: “It is a delight and great honour for us to be selected as a nominated designer/manufacturer of a product using wood from the One Oak project. A growing part of our business is  now in bespoke built products, anything from small trinket boxes to outside learning areas for schools; from shipping crates for Honda to hand made planters for Blenheim Palace. It is sometimes difficult to describe the high  quality finished goods and original design concepts that staff with disabilities can produce. Our “Contemplation Bench” is a tremendous opportunity to show to a wider audience how we can use the natural facets of the wood we receive and turn them into strong design features and high quality products. Thank you to the Sylva Foundation for choosing us and giving us this opportunity”.

Cleaning and planing the OneOak timber on arrival

Cleaning and planing the OneOak timber on arrival

Measuring components

Measuring components

cutting components

cutting components

Chiselling the leg mortices

Chiselling the leg mortices

Marking up for the inlays

Marking up for the inlays

Carving the message

Carving the message

Visit the Pathway Workshop website

OneOak website

OneOak website

Over the last two and a half years, ever since the OneOak tree was felled in January 2010, we have been endeavoring to make as many and as varied items as possible from the tree to demonstrate how important trees and wood are to us in modern life.

Now that the first of our finale exhibitions is about to open (Art in Action July 19-22), we can list for the first time the number and variety of items made from the OneOak tree.

Here is a list of items made so far that exceeds 30 in number, while for some items there have been multiple versions (e.g. benches for five different schools) – the links point to stories on the OneOak blog over the last two and half years. See also our Products page on the OneOak website

  1. firewood from branchwood
  2. woodchip, from branchwood, for heating a house
  3. sawdust for smoking food, waste from processing other items
  4. charcoal
  5. bracing beams for a house
  6. transom beam in a boat, rowed in the Queens’ Diamond Jubilee Flotilla
  7. door and frame
  8. chest
  9. pedestal table
  10. coffee table
  11. throne chair
  12. clock
  13. lantern
  14. moebius sculpture
  15. jewellery
  16. acorn oakbot sculpture, from waste slabwood
  17. memorial sculpture, from branchwood
  18. carved bowls
  19. carved spoons
  20. turned bowls
  21. carvings
  22. automata
  23. Commemorative garden bench
  24. five benches for primary schools, including the spider bench
  25. contemplation bench
  26. MakeIT! bench, national school design competition
  27. nesting tables, fine furniture competition winner
  28. small craft items
  29. deer
  30. viola chin rest
  31. printing blocks
  32. relief carving
  33. sounding bowl

We will update this list in the future and include information on some of the items that so far have not been featured in the OneOak blog.

We hope to see at one of our exhibitions during 2012

 

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England and Wales 1128516
and in Scotland SC041892

Company limited by guarantee 06589157

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