Stealm

The superb bending properties of English elm make the implausible possible with this desk. Two inch thick blanks of timber were steam bent six times over to create undulating forms which entwine under the desk’s figured aspen surface, complete with steam bent corners.

Stealm – a portmanteau of steam and elm – shows how the age-old technique of steam bending can still arrest the viewer’s attention and strike out in a time of minimalist furniture. The plasticising effect of steam on the lignen in wood allows its fibres to be bent in astonishing directions when worked quickly and deftly. Elm with arrow-straight grain from Northumberland was selected to be steamed for this piece.

English elm and figured aspen, with walnut drawer slips and cedar of Lebanon bottoms.

Signed and dated zinc plate embedded in the underside.