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Date published: 24th October 2020
Dylan Pym, a fine furniture designer based in Suffolk, has recreated the benches in Fakenham town centre using a specialist method of curing and bending wood.
The technique, known as steam bending, has been practiced in traditional wood crafting for centuries and is a favoured method of wood manipulation for its ecological, economical and low energy processes.
The pieces of wood are joined together by their shape alone, which can be further moulded, negating the need for creating excess scrap or the inclusion of wood glues.
The wood Dylan used for the benches is English Oak, which has been sustainably grown, seasoned and cured himself on his own land. This close relationship with the wood means that he sees the project from tree trunk to the completed article of furniture and can use his 27 years of expertise to carefully curate a responsibly sourced and uniquely organic piece of furniture.
Dylan estimates there are less than 15 steam benders active in the UK currently.
The benches were originally created by a woodworker named Robert Kilvington, commissioned for Fakenham’s regeneration scheme to reflect the medieval town’s history.
Two of the four benches have now been replaced in the historic town centre.
When putting the first bench in, Dylan gave a demonstration on what wood works best for steam bending, and how they put the bench in.
Last updated: 25th October 2020