LORD OF THE FOREST
FROM THE HEART OF THE EARTH,
A 50,000 YEAR MILLENARY WOOD
The Kauri (Agathis Australis) is a kind of conifer living only in the sub-tropical climates of New Zealand. The first of them appeared during the Jurassic period about 190/135 million years ago. They are the world’s biggest trees in terms of trunk volume and have a height of up to 70 meters and a diameter of up to 9. Unfortunately many of their forests were felled by English colonists on arrival to obtain timber or land for farming. All the remaining trees are now under governmental and legal protection and their cut is strictly forbidden. The biggest surviving Kauri is the ‘Tane Mahuta’ or ‘Lord Of The Forest’ in the Maori language.
About 50.000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, a series of unexplained cataclysms submerged whole forests of kauris in water and mud. Digging the soil veritable “wood mines” are found; the exceptionality is that, although beeing buried underground for thousands of years, these logs are perfectly preserved and have the same quality as timber just cut. The specific qualities of the mud and the absolute lack of oxygen exempted these plants, trapped in the swamps for 30/40/50 thousand years, from the chemical processes of decomposition and petrification, letting them remain intact to the present day.
THE SECOND LIFE OF WOOD
Its noble strength, its historical value, its timeless charm. From the heart of the Earth, a 50,000 year old wood.
Once a new “mine” has been located, the logs can be extracted with excavators and bulldozers. Recovery operations are difficult due to the muddy and infirm terrain in places hardly accessible and to the notable size of trunks, which can be lifted by only heavy equipment. The trunks may weigh up to 200/300 tons, so operators have to cut them into two or more parts before being able to lift them and take them away.
These portions of the trunks are then cut into boards in a most delicate operation which calls for long and careful processing to obtain a constant thickness, which requires a system of tangential cutting to minimize moving the enormous trunks. The rainy winters and the swampy terrain force operators to do the excavating in only the dry season and to devote the months of winter to working on and finishing the materials.
SANDING • RESIN • OIL
The raw slabs can be worked with resin, through a very delicate and slow process that permits to capture the wood inside a transparent frame, by filling its natural cavities and levelling out the sides. The table is then sanded by hand to obtain an evenly smooth surface; the final process is the finishing through oil of vegetable origin.
In the warehouse of Riva 1920, in addition to walnut, oak and other traditional woods, Kauri slabs are also stored in this warehouse where they reach up to 12 meters in length and 2.40 meters in width and with thickness between 8 and 14 cm. It is a veritable wood house, constantly updated thanks to periodical incoming deliveries after long sea journeys, as in the case of Kauri wood.
Riva 1920 was able to perfectly interpret this amazing material, which thanks to the company expertise is then transformed into tables that are veritable art pieces made available by the nature. The company know-how and the artisan work are able to make original and unique pieces from simple raw slabs, extraordinary products that stand out and impress thanks to their features. The table is an important piece of the house, it is an essential piece of furniture and its use isn’t only practical; around the table we live some of the most important emotions of our life, that’s why we use the wood, a warm, alive, true and authentic material. A wooden table represents a sensory experience involving several senses: its imperfections and knots the sense of touch, its scent gives off in the air, its colours and grain please the sight. Kauri tables are conceived for indoor use. For outdoor use it is strongly recommended to choose slabs without addition of resin; furthermore, the ordinary maintenance is to be done every year. The products are made from completely natural wood, hand-finished without the addition of any treatment. Movements, cracks and changes in the appearance of the wood are intrinsic characteristics of these items and result from the natural settlement and diverse environmental conditions.DISCOVER THE COLLECTION