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OneOak exhibition at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

posted on October 13, 2012

It is the opening weekend of the OneOak finale exhibition at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh this weekend; the beginning of a six week long exhibition. Sylva staff are on hand to talk with visitors this weekend. Here are a few photographs (click to enlarge), with more to follow.

The exhibition was sponsored by the Scottish Forestry Trust.

Category: News, OneOak project

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Story of OneOak comes to life at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

posted on October 5, 2012

RBGE OneOak exhibition October 12th-December 2nd

One week today our finale exhibition of the OneOak project opens at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, where it will run for six weeks from October 12th to December 2nd.

A joint press release has been prepared with RBGE, an extract from which is included below.


Press Release

OneOak exhibition at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh 2012

OneOak exhibition at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh: October 12th to December 2nd 2012

The creative results of an innovative project following the full life story of a single oak tree is set to inspire visitors to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), from October 12 to December 2. Created by the Sylva Foundation, in partnership with artists and craftsmen from throughout Britain, the OneOak exhibition features some 50 items, ranging from a throne chair to tables, benches and wood block prints. All have been created with timbers from a 222-year-old oak tree felled on Blenheim Estate, near Oxford.

From the outset, the incentive of the Sylva Foundation has been to bring people closer to the importance of woodlands and of wood in modern society. With this in mind, the felling, in January 2010, was witnessed by 250 school children and 200 other guests. A year later they were invited back to each plant a young oak, so fulfilling a cycle of sustainable forest management.

The tree was grown initially for its timber, being planted in 1788; the year The Times was first published, when Mozart was working on his last symphony and when the French Revolution was just beginning to stir. It became the most studied oak tree in Britain: it has been weighed, measured with lasers to create a 3D model, studied by a dendrochronologist, and had its carbon content estimated. It has also been featured by dozens of artists, sculptors and photographers. Now, it is being brought to Edinburgh thanks to funding from the Scottish Forestry Trust.

Chief Executive of the Sylva Foundation and project co-ordinator Dr Gabriel Hemery said:

“This has been an amazing project that has inspired both the public and those who make a living working with wood and caring for our woodlands. Everyone has given their time to the project in so many different ways because they have been inspired by the concept: the realisation that trees and wood are still vital to life even in modern society.”

Dr Hemery continued:

“After three years of hard work it has been immensely exciting to be able to bring together all the various elements of the OneOak project. We are able to show the public the stunning artwork, spell-binding films, earth-shattering science and a myriad of truly amazing wood-based products. The only products that we haven’t been able include in real life in the exhibition at RBGE will be a house and a boat!”

Reflecting on the harmony between the origins of OneOak project and the work of RBGE, Exhibitions Officer Elinor Gallant, commented:

“This is quite a remarkable exhibition detailing the lifecycle of an iconic tree. It is a story which links well with our experiences as a botanic garden and with our policy of communicating about the environment at every level. Having hosted two particularly well received drop-in sessions bringing insight to the project, back in January 2011, it makes absolute sense for RBGE to present the full exhibition. I am certain visitors of all ages will be delighted by both the beauty of the wood and the story behind why and how these remarkable pieces have come to be on display.”

download the full Press ReleaseDownload the full Press Release


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New OneOak makers use the last remaining offcuts

posted on September 27, 2012

The OneOak project is now nearing completion, as we prepare to move our exhibition from Blenheim Palace, where it has been since late July, to Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (opening October 12th). While all our original makers completed their work in readiness for our Summer exhibitions, a few additional makers have approached us, all keen to use the very last few bits of offcuts to make a few more precious items from the OneOak timber.

We will be adding stories about these products and the makers over the next few days. Expect some surprising items!

 

 

Category: News, OneOak project, Wood

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OneOak exhibition opens at Blenheim Palace

posted on July 25, 2012

OneOak Blenheim Exhibition – 25th July to 4th October

The OneOak Exhibition, telling the full life story of one oak tree, will be on display in the Pleasure Gardens at Blenheim Palace between 25th July to 4th October.

OneOak Exhibition photomontage banner 2012

In January 2010 a 222 year old oak tree, growing in woodland on the Blenheim Palace Estate, was felled for its timber. It was donated to the Sylva Foundation by the Palace as the focus for an education project, aiming to bring people closer to the growing of trees for wood.

The OneOak tree is now one of the most scientifically studied trees in Britain. It has also inspired artists, craftspeople, film makers and musicians. Its timber is being used to make a huge array of wooden products: beams in buildings, the hull of a ship and fine furniture, plus everyday items and energy to heat homes. The legendary chef Raymond Blanc has used oak wood chippings from the tree to smoke salmon at Le Manoir aux Quat’saisons.

A year after the OneOak tree felling 250 local school children, all of whom had witnessed its death, returned to the woodland to each plant an oak tree to create a new oak forest.

During 2010 and 2011 a series of exhibitions and events, telling the stories behind the project, has attracted thousands of visitors. In a final major touring exhibition during 2012, items made from OneOak tree’s seasoned wood by some of Britain’s best furniture makers, joiners, artists and craftspeople, are being displayed in a unique collection.

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace - visitor information

Visitors will also see drawings, prints and photographs, together with information and films about the tree’s history and the people involved, who have all come together to show why growing trees for wood is vitally important for humans and beneficial for the environment.

Find out more from the Blenheim Palace website


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OneOak news release – One oak tree: Forty gifts to life

posted on July 17, 2012

A unique project following the full life story of a single oak tree reaches a finale this week, with the first of a series of manor exhibitions at Art in Action, where all the items made from the tree are being brought together for the first time. The products range from the waste sawdust used by legendary chef Raymond Blanc to smoke salmon, to a throne chair worth £6000, and dozens of other items including charcoal, wood block prints, tables, benches, door, house, boat, and woodchip for bioenergy.

  • The OneOak project is an environmental project of the Sylva Foundation, following the full life story of one oak tree.
  • The aim of the project is to bring people closer to the importance of our woodlands and of wood in modern society.
  • The 222 year old OneOak tree was felled on the Blenheim Estate in January 2010, witnessed by 250 school children. It had been grown in a plantation for its timber, having been planted in 1788; the same year that The Times was first published and when the French Revolution was just beginning to stir.
  • The OneOak tree is now the most studied oak tree in Britain: it has been weighed, measured with lasers to create a 3D model, studied by a dendrochronologist, and had its carbon content estimated.
  • It has been featured by dozens of artists, sculptors and photographers.
  • Many of Britain’s leading designer-makers have made items using the wood of the OneOak tree. These total over 40 different products, and counting.
  • The 250 children who witnessed the felling each planted a young oak tree in January 2011, one year after the tree was felled, to fulfil the cycle in sustainable forest management.
  • The first exhibition is at Art in Action, followed by six weeks at Blenheim Palace, then six weeks at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

 

Chief Executive of the Sylva Foundation and project co-ordinator Dr Gabriel Hemery said “this has been an amazing project that has inspired both the public and those who make a living working with wood and caring for our woodlands. Everyone has given their time to the project in so many different ways because they have been inspired by the concept:- the realisation that trees and wood are still vital to life even in modern society.”

Dr Hemery continued “after three years of hard work it is immensely exciting to be bringing together all the various elements of the OneOak project for our exhibitions during the Summer and Autumn. We will be able to show the public the stunning artwork, spell-binding films, earth-shattering science, and the myriad of truly amazing wood-based products. The only products that we won’t be able include in real life in the exhibitions will be the house and the boat!”

The OneOak exhibition at Art in Action is replacing the usual ‘Woodworking’ section; the marquee will be filled uniquely with all the products of the OneOak tree. Artists, musicians, sculptors and designer-makers will be on-hand to talk and demonstrate about their work in the OneOak project. Some 25,000 people are expected to attend over the four days, and where special measures have been put in place to cope with the soggy ground.  See note from Art in Action

The following have been made to date: firewood, woodchip (to heat a house for 6 weeks), sawdust for smoking food by Raymond Blanc, charcoal, bracing beams for a house, transom beam in a boat rowed in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Flotilla, door and frame, chest, pedestal table, coffee table, throne chair, clock, lantern, moebius sculpture, jewellery, acorn oakbot sculpture from waste slabwood, memorial sculpture, carved bowls, carved spoons, turned bowls, carvings, automata, commemorative garden bench by disabled workers, five benches for primary schools including the spider bench, contemplation bench, MakeIT! bench national school design competition, nesting tables, fine furniture competition winners pieces, small craft items, deer, viola chin rest, printing blocks, relief carving, sounding bowl.

Details of the OneOak products along with the stories of their making can be found here: www.oneoak.info/wood_products.php

The project website is www.OneOak.info

Exhibition dates:

Art in Action, Waterperry                             19th – 22nd July 2012                      Art in Action

Blenheim Palace                                               25th July – 4th October                  OneOak at Blenheim Palace

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh               12th October – 2nd December    Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh


More information

download the full News Release

download the full News Release

Download the full News Release

 

end of News Release


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Made from OneOak wood

posted on July 16, 2012
OneOak website

OneOak website

Over the last two and a half years, ever since the OneOak tree was felled in January 2010, we have been endeavoring to make as many and as varied items as possible from the tree to demonstrate how important trees and wood are to us in modern life.

Now that the first of our finale exhibitions is about to open (Art in Action July 19-22), we can list for the first time the number and variety of items made from the OneOak tree.

Here is a list of items made so far that exceeds 30 in number, while for some items there have been multiple versions (e.g. benches for five different schools) – the links point to stories on the OneOak blog over the last two and half years. See also our Products page on the OneOak website

  1. firewood from branchwood
  2. woodchip, from branchwood, for heating a house
  3. sawdust for smoking food, waste from processing other items
  4. charcoal
  5. bracing beams for a house
  6. transom beam in a boat, rowed in the Queens’ Diamond Jubilee Flotilla
  7. door and frame
  8. chest
  9. pedestal table
  10. coffee table
  11. throne chair
  12. clock
  13. lantern
  14. moebius sculpture
  15. jewellery
  16. acorn oakbot sculpture, from waste slabwood
  17. memorial sculpture, from branchwood
  18. carved bowls
  19. carved spoons
  20. turned bowls
  21. carvings
  22. automata
  23. Commemorative garden bench
  24. five benches for primary schools, including the spider bench
  25. contemplation bench
  26. MakeIT! bench, national school design competition
  27. nesting tables, fine furniture competition winner
  28. small craft items
  29. deer
  30. viola chin rest
  31. printing blocks
  32. relief carving
  33. sounding bowl

We will update this list in the future and include information on some of the items that so far have not been featured in the OneOak blog.

We hope to see at one of our exhibitions during 2012

 

Category: News, OneOak project, Wood

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OneOak exhibition at Oxford University Museum of Natural History – until April 29th

posted on February 23, 2012

Our OneOak exhibition at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, which opened in September 2011, has been extended a further month. It will remain open until Sunday 29th April.

OneOak exhibition at Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OneOak exhibition at Oxford University Museum of Natural History

We are delighted that the Museum have decided to continue their support for the Exhibition. Initially a three month stay, the OneOak Exhibition will end up being hosted for over six months. By all accounts feedback to Musuem staff from visitors has been extremely positive. According to our Guest Book, visitors have come from far and wide (including Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Netherlands, Phillipines, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, USA), leaving hundreds of comments.  Here are a few samples:

  • “Most interesting exhibit & project. Has given inspiration for a local project.” John.
  • “Unique & interesting”. Kathryn.
  • “Great! insight into natural history”. John.
  • “Very facinating [sic] of the man cutting down the tree”. Theo [young handwriting]
  • “Very good and better than watch [sic] some cartoon”. Mingxi [young handwriting]
  • “Tree Mend Us!” Theo.
  • “The OneOak exhibition is a treasure. We should all start to approach trees the way they did.” Lada’nyi.
  • “Tree-refic”. Edward [young handwriting]
  • “Nice art”. Fergus [young handwriting]
  • “I want to be a scientist” Drew [young handwriting]
  • “It was worth waiting the 56 years of my life (so far) to see the extraordinary wonderful work of craft and imagination” Samuel.

 

Children's tree drawings at the Oxford exhibition

Visiting children's tree drawings at the Oxford exhibition

 

 


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CEO talks about Wood Culture in India

posted on October 27, 2011

Sylva’s CEO Dr Gabriel Hemery was invited to speak at an international conference organised by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, held in Bangalore in India. It was part of the UN’s activities supporting the International Year of Forests.

The conference was on the subject of the Art and Joy of WoodRediscovering wood: the key to a sustainable future. It aimed to tackle the cultural dimension of wood that is rarely explored or discussed.  About 350 delegates attended from all corners of the world.

Gabriel Hemery speaking at The Art and Joy of Wood conference in India, October 2011

Gabriel Hemery speaking at The Art and Joy of Wood conference in India, October 2011

Gabriel’s talk, entitled Recovering Britain’s Wood Culture, outlined the cultural divide between people’s love of trees and of wood, yet an unwillingness to accept the need to manage woodlands for their wood. He presented an overview of Sylva’s myForest Service and OneOak project.

His paper will be published in the Conference Proceedings, alongside others.  We will publish a link when available.


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Trees and Woodlands of England course – places available

posted on September 21, 2011

Sylva and the Oxford University Department for Continuation Education (OUDCE) are holding a one day course on November 5th:

Trees and Woodlands of England: Past, Present and Future

Anyone with an interest in trees and forests is welcome. Why not come along and learn about woodlands in the past, the key issues of the present, and discuss the future for trees and woodlands? Places are still available.

Visit the OUDCE website to book online


Trees and Woodlands of England: Past, Present and Future – 5th November, Oxford

– What woodland history can reveal about past ‘wood culture’ – Mr John Morris, Director of the Chilterns Woodland Project

– The state of sustainable forest management in England today- Dr Peter Savill, Emeritus Fellow of Linacre College and the former Reader of Forestry at the University of Oxford’s Plant Sciences Department

– The future opportunities and challenges of our nation’s trees and woodlands- Dr Nick Brown, Principal of Linacre College and lecturer in forest ecology at the University of Oxford’s Plant Sciences Department.

– How the celebration of the OneOak tree project has engaged Oxfordshire communities and highlighted how a modern day wood culture can support sustainable communities – Dr Gabriel Hemery, Chief Executive of the Sylva Foundation


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OneOak exhibition opens at Oxford University Museum of Natural History

posted on September 12, 2011

Today we are delighted to open the OneOak exhibition at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.  It will run until 27th March 2012.

Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Building on the success of our five month exhibition at Oxford Botanic Garden we have created an exhibition that includes several new works of art and a new film.  It links closely to the taxonomic collection in the museum, exploring the foodchain of an oak tree with the help of the Museum’s fabulous electron microscope.  Our volunteer curator Jane King has worked tirelessly to pull the exhibition together.  Our thanks to Jane and all the staff at the Museum for their support.  We hope to see you there.

 


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