December 5, 2022

Ringvide uses the paper coloring technique to create marbled wood furniture

Swedish furniture maker Ringvide has designed a collection of patterned wooden furniture using a marbled color technique normally used on paper.

Based in Visby ringempty used the suminagashi marbling technique to create swirling patterns on its wooden tables. The Japanese technique is normally used on paper, but Ringvide has developed a way to print color on wood.

“Coming across a book on paper marbling, the idea of ​​doing it on wooden furniture quickly started to sprout,” Ringvide co-founder Lukas Dahlén told Dezeen.

Ringvide boards are printed with water-based ink

The studio used water-based ink as well as raw color pigments, which were mixed with water to create the patterns.

“When a drop of ink is gently dropped onto a water surface, the difference in surface tension will spread the ink across the surface,” Dahlén said. “When done repeatedly, the color will eventually cover the entire surface.”

“Variing the way the color is applied to the surface with different means of disturbing the surface will create different patterns, some more easily controlled than others,” he added.

Wood with a turquoise marble pattern
Marbling creates swirling patterns

After the color, which is cobalt and cadmium free, was added to the water, the studio submerged the fully assembled furniture in water to ensure the design wrapped around its corners and sides.

Carrageenan, a biopolymer extracted from seaweed, has been added to the water to make it thicker and easier to shape.

Bore coffee tables with brown and orange pattern
The studio is experimenting with different colors and shapes

The water-based ink has an acrylic binder that causes it to stick to the surface of birch tables, creating patterns that vary from piece to piece.

“The ink is absorbed into the dry wood, working like a stain, coloring the wood on the depth,” Dahlén said. “The wood is finished with oil and wax to encapsulate and protect the color.”

The studio has experimented with different colors and says almost any color can be used.

“Most of the marble designs we’ve done so far try to keep a lot of the wood and softly add something to it,” Dahlén said. “But we are working on bolder designs.”

Marbled wood furniture
It uses a technique normally used to create marbled paper

The idea behind the design came from Dahlén’s interest in different types of marbling.

“I became interested in oil tempera marbling techniques,” he said.

“Traditionally, these techniques were used to imitate a more expensive type of wood or different types of stone that were physically or economically out of reach.”

Dark brown marble effect tables
Lukas Dahlén says the studio is looking to create more “bold” designs

“In Stockholm, you can often be amazed by the ornate faux stone walls on the stairs, for example,” he added.

“But it can also be found on furniture, most often in churches. The tension between fake and real fascinates me.”

Marbling effects are often used to create eye-catching designs. Previous designers who have used the technique include British designer Tom Dixon, who created his colorful Swirl collection from a “mysterious” material, and fashion brand Forte Forte, who clad one of its stores of marbled onyx.

The photograph is from Frederick Sweger.