Lightning is scary and powerful, yet when harnessed correctly, it can become a beautiful pattern for hand-crafted wooden furniture. Muchd like Zeus in ancient mythology, Canadian Woodworks is harnessing the power and beauty of lightning, but they're doing it for aesthetic purposes.
A Lichtenberg figure is a pattern that results from a high-voltage electric discharge. It is characterized by a branching structure due to partial discharges across the surface of the insulator. This pattern is most well-known for being the physical manifestation of a lightning strike.
This is not the first time we have seen Lichtenberg figures burned across wood, but it is the first time we've seen this phenomenon occur as a design element.
As you can see, the top layer of the wood has been treated. Dry wood is not a great conductor of electricity so in order to get the branching to occur, the wood needs to be soaked in a solution, such as baking soda and water. For the most consistent pattern possible, electrodes need to be placed with the grains of the wood to encourage branching.
Warning: this is a very dangerous process. Do not attempt this at home unless you know how to handle incredibly high voltage equipment.
According to their website, Canadian Woodworks specializes in "hand sculpted custom wooden rocking chairs, dining chairs, stools, and tables." The designs are beautifully made and the craftsmanship is exquisite, but using Lichtenberg patterns takes their pieces to a whole new level of creativity and innovation.
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