WOOD, THIS BE FOR YOU?
Trees have always been the beautiful poems of our natural surroundings. Their grace and grandeur remain second to none in terms of highlighting the wondrous effect of nature on all our senses. The wood that comes from trees has been a main source of building materials that provide shelter especially in times of extreme weather. The homes constructed from these giving trees are in themselves impressive architectural statements as well as practical living abodes.
And with all the spare wood lying around, creative forces took over and transformed these materials into what would be described to be as country folk art at first. But eventually, the organic feel and look of wood provided a deeper connection to the environment with the photographs and images placed on these panels. Let’s take a look at some popular options that have engaged the eye of the beholder through birch, bamboo, and kirei boards.
The exceptional bark characteristics and the graceful delicate foliage which Birch trees possess have made them a favorite surface for a good number of designers. They have a variety of species and cultivars that continue to be utilized for landscape projects. Almost all the forms of birch are pretty distinctive in bark coloration, growth form, and some susceptibility to certain insect pests. Healthy birch trees should last for about 40-50 years and continue to thrive where they are planted. But the white-barked birches might just reach 20 years of age.
The subtle wave pattern of birch gives photographers that option to have that aged look for their images. The lines seem to connote a glimpse into eternity while still making quite an impact for the present. The grains express a layer of timelessness that can make pictures take on an instant classic impression. The birch background may lend that organic feel for a seemingly ordinary photo and make it earthier and current with shabby chic design trends.
Similar to birch, your valued pictures can also be printed directly onto bamboo using a high definition direct printing system. The nice straight lines that are part of the bamboo structure can noticeably be seen in the final output. The wood used is all natural free of any stickers or other laminates. The edges of the frame can be sanded and varnished or finished off with a glossy black color according to your preference. The high definition print seems to come alive more with the unique vertical patterns of the bamboo. You’ll notice a different way to display your images in this natural and contemporary manner.
Bamboo plants or Bamboos compose a group of woody perennial evergreen plants found in the true grass family Poaceae. Some of these varieties have been known to grow to gigantic proportions and become part of the largest members of the grass family. There are about 1,000 species of bamboo have been discovered in diverse climates such as cold mountain all the way to hot tropical regions. The bamboo is technically a grass, but many of the bigger bamboos can become very tree-like in their appearance and essentially get referred as "bamboo trees". They have become quite popular with gardening enthusiasts as well.
Aside from its obvious decorative assets, bamboo also has several characteristics and uses that really defines the multi-tasking capability of this organic material. For endangered rainforest hardwoods, bamboo is one of the most important fallbacks as nature’s substitute. This quick-growing, versatile non-timber forest product has a biomass generation rate that surpasses other plants. The annual increase in biomass a 10-30 % compared to 2-5 % for trees, gives bamboo the edge in creating greater yields of raw material for use. Due to its wide range of purposes, it is utilized quite extensively. Bamboo has become suitable for numerous end products and purposes because of the culms strength, the stalk’s straightness, smoothness, lightness that has a combination of hardness and greater hollowness. Add to that is bamboo’s facility and regularity with which it can be split into different sizes, various lengths and thickness of the joints. Most tree species cannot keep up with the versatility of bamboo. The manufacturing of strong and sturdy furniture, handicrafts, and other novelty items has heavily relied on this adept raw material.
Because of its widespread root system and its capability of building a large canopy, bamboo has proven to be an effective erosion control plant and natural control barrier. Runoffs are reduced which prevents massive soil erosion; and helps to keep twice as much water in the watershed and adds to the sustainability of riverbanks. The height of bamboo gives protection to its surrounding environment from the strong winds generated by typhoons. Even if it gets damaged by these storms, it can still regenerate and shows admirable resiliency. Water pollution is mitigated due to its high nitrogen consumption; carbon dioxide gases are minimized and up to 35% more oxygen is generated compared to and equivalent stand of trees.
When people have adequate access to bamboo, this becomes an important component for development. Minimal attention is required during its growing and production cycle while occupying the same ecological niche as that of trees. Healthy ecosystems benefit and the investment of modest capital can generate a steady income. Bamboo has been a source of subsistence, shelter and every-day utilities for a good number of communities around the world.
It is difficult to find any other plant material that can rival the utility of bamboo. In various parts of Asia, bamboo continues to be used in a traditional manner for these people to function in their daily lives. There is a little known fact that Thomas Edison himself was able to use a carbonized bamboo filament for his experiment with the first light bulb. His swimming pool made used of bamboo as a rebar for reinforcement. Likewise, Alexander Graham Bell for his first phonograph needle used this magnificent material bamboo. Even to this day, there continues to be ongoing innovation and development for bamboo.
The invention of new products for bamboo contributes to the economic standing of groups who rely on this organic material for their livelihood. The traditional use in making handicrafts and novelty items persists. But there are exciting and new engineered applications which include lumber, veneer, strand and particle boards, plywood and other laminates, and emergent technologies of high strength bio-composites that literally have brought bamboo to new heights.
There are different applications for bamboo based on its age. At less than 30 days, this can be eaten and has been used as a culinary delight for most Asian cultures. In its 6th to 9th month, the wood is pliable and strong enough to make baskets. By the 2nd and 3rd year, bamboo boards and laminations can be made. Construction outfits use bamboo for scaffolding and building purposes when it reaches the range of 3-6 years. More than 6 years, the material gradually loses its strength until it reaches 12 years old.
As for the wood surface called kirei, a company called Kirei (pronounced "key'-ray") produces these modern, innovative, eco-friendly materials. Meaning "beautiful" or "clean," this word representing a Japanese character appropriately describes this remarkable material. The Kirei Board was developed for use by architects and interior designers as a low-impact, nontoxic material. This is made from a composite of Sorghum Straw, KR Bond adhesive, and Poplar wood. This Kirei Board has been placed as wall coverings, infused in cabinetry, and other furniture products, installed as flooring, as well as other decorative and finished products. The stalks left over after harvesting the Sorghum plant are woven tightly and then heat-pressed with a no-added-urea-formaldehyde adhesive differentiate it from the usual particle boards. Farmers, who would otherwise burn or simply discard Sorghum stalks after harvest, now have another source of income from the production of Kirei Board.
PROLAB DIGITAL CAN HELP YOU GET YOUR WOOD
Prolab Digital, with over twenty years of experience in producing high quality prints, continues to be a primary source for clientele in the greater Los Angeles area. They have the capability of printing on bamboo, birch, and kirei board. They even can offer options for a giclee canvas, to even printing on aluminum, and installing wall murals.
There are high quality wood prints available that have an all-natural and environmentally friendly feel that just come out magnificently as a finished product. The packages available are the ½ inch standard on birch, the artisan for a quarter inch bamboo surface, and there’s the designer package using ¾ inch bamboo. The unique output has attracted artists and interior designers from around the world eager to check out these gallery ready wood prints. The wood grains add such a different depth and organic touch to the art pieces printed on them.
The old style of applying graphics to wood was done with adhesive vinyl but over time, that would eventually chip and peel off. Thanks to Prolab Digital's cutting edge technology, the images are printed directly onto the wood surface. This results in a more professional look, helps protect the piece and increases the longevity of the artwork.
That wooden canvas gives extra character to your memorable photos. Wood prints have become the newest wave of art because the printing of photos on wood are done with complete precision, vibrancy and durability. The printed image molds into the natural grain of the wood creating an incomparable wood print. Because each grain of wood has its own design and look, that lends itself to the picture printed on it. Being moisture and heat resistant becomes an added bonus.
DISCOVERING WHAT WOOD WOULD DO FOR YOU
There’s a certain connection to wood when you brush your fingers over the grain patterns and try to read what the tree was trying to say like brail. What was its life like? Did it have to endure any fires or extreme weather events? What caused the pattern on the wood to turn out as such?
Maybe it’s because we’ve come to associate wood with our very own existence and purpose. Antique tables and chairs sourced from old houses seem to have a past life of their own. Wardrobes contain so many secrets of times long past, aside from the obvious storage convenience for clothes and such. The floors creak and moan as if saying adages of a bygone era, hoping that these lessons may not be lost to the silence of eternity.
Because it once was part of living things, the spirit of that wood perhaps never left. It still has that mysterious energy sourced from the ancients waiting patiently in the forest. Very subtle and faint, the wood’s voice can only be detected through the patterns we keenly observe.
As the images get printed directly on the material, the energy gets transferred to the artworks reproduced on them. That photograph with a loved one smiling has more character with the wood grains showing through. Landscape scenes take on a more natural effect. And other pieces remain truthful to their distinctiveness through the changing patterns that each wood board gives.
The winds and weather may have had a direct effect to how the patterns emerge on the wood. But the printing process also adds its voice to the wisdom projected by the wood.
YOU WON’T FEEL LOST IN THE WOOD WITH PROLAB DIGITAL
With Prolab Digital, the wood prints you create with them will maintain a character and uniqueness for many generations. The beauty of the wood could only enhance the potential images you hope to print on these natural surfaces. With their Los Angeles group there to guide you, the artworks created are worthy enough to be proudly displayed and to be appreciated by all.
Don’t get too intimidated by the choices between birch, bamboo, or kirei boards. That captured memory fittingly reproduced on such an environmentally friendly and sustainable material adds to the timelessness of the photo. Prolab Digital will help you get that wonderful picture properly printed and wonderfully enhanced.