1 wood, a living material
Signposts on the roads, religious symbols, ecosystem essentials and decoration. Trees. Because of their wood, we have a renewable material with a personal story.
Wood grows from cambium, a layer of cells between wood and bark. They split up and form bark on their external side, and wood cells on the inner side, which grows faster. In our climatic zone, the wood activity stops before winter and starts again in spring – it is due to this fact that we can observe annual circles.
3 wood texture
The texture makes every product an original. It is determined by the anatomical structure of wood (e.g. annual circles, pith rays), its colour, lustre and the way the cut is made. Deciduous woody plants have more complex structure and diverse grain. The most prominent texture is formed while the cut is made tangentially, in longitudinal axis further from the pith.
4 pith rays
Pith rays are natural wood effects, they constitute 5–10 % of wood. Because of their cells, which are oriented vertically to the annual circles, nutrients can get from phloem to wood and pith. They also have a storage function – they store energetically rich substances like starch and fat. Their abundance in the grain guarantees that it is a solid wood, not an imitation or plywood. The widest ones, well visible with naked eye, emerge for example in beech and especially in oak. When the cut is made radially in an angle, which goes exactly through the longitudinal axis of the trunk, pith rays form typical glossy surfaces that are colloquially called little mirrors.
A knot appears on the spot that becomes overgrown around a dormant bunt or as a basis of a new branch. The highest number can be found in coniferous woody plants, even though the biggest sizes are in deciduous trees, especially in beech and oak wood. Although they can influence the yield, they are appreciated as decorative elements in furniture manufacturing. Their quality is deduced from their colour. If it is darker than the surrounding wood, the knot is healthy and in a good condition. In our products you can only come across some small overgrown knots which will rather please the eye than disrupt the quality of wood.
6 wood colours
Wood colouring is influenced both by wood construction components and by a wide range of factors like light, air humidity, or climate. Woody plants are therefore usually lighter in a mild climate, while tropical ones have more distinctive colours. However, the wood colour never stays the same. It is influenced by the climate, especially ultra violet rays or pest infestation.
6.1 oil finish – beech
Individual beech wood components react differently to selected woodworking methods, resulting in natural variation in wood colour. This natural property is further enhanced when a product is finished in oil. The colour variations among individual components will even out within a few months in response to the effects of light and oxygen.
6.2 oil finish – oak
Oak wood has a beautiful figure, which becomes further pronounced with an oil finish. Selected woodworking methods on individual components do not affect the colour of oak – its colour is highly uniform across all components on a given product. However, oak changes in colour with time due to the effects of light and oxygen. This causes colour differentiation among products purchased at different times.
7 life of wood
Wood is a living material. It constantly breathes and reacts to the environment. Non-standard humidity (lower than 40 % or higher than 60 %) has a negative impact on the shape. Changes in colour shades or cracking are caused by the exposure to direct sunlight or heat sources (fireplaces, stoves, heating). Give it a proper care, it repays it with its uniqueness.
8 technology influence
Apart from natural characteristics of materials, also technological procedures influence the apperance of the product. Specific features of manufacture and high proportion of manual work are other factors which determine the originality of TON products.
Wood can be finished also in antique colours, which are unique by their specific characteristics. Patina is manually created on the surface, so the colour is never homogeneous. Every single piece of chair is unique by its final appearance.
Skin has several important functions – it contains sense receptors, keeps a constant body temperature, stores fat, secretes chemical substances. It also protects body from external infl uences like harmful substances, microorganisms or UV radiation. All of these natural processes along with ageing have an impact on its appearance that is never homogeneous. We can observe scars, folds, burns, or damages caused by other animals. If leather is chosen carefully, it guarantees long durability, easy maintenance and a surface pleasant to touch.
It is possible to choose a cane weave in a seat or a backrest in the classic line of bent products. This technology, evolved from basketwork, has been used since ancient times. The boom is dated back to the Victorian era with a recurrence later on because of manually bent chairs. Such furniture is lighter and airy, which is obvious not only by the look of it, but also when using it, especially during summer months. The basic material for making cane carpet is the very hard outer shell of cane stalk, which is manually sorted, cut and neatened. It is possible to see small marks approximately every 15 or 30 centimetres, which are remnants of leafstalks. Another sign that it is not an artifi cial material is fraying of weaved stalks, which we remove before packaging by an electric device. You can consider this maintenance in future, too.
12 surface splits
The pressure required to bend wood by hand puts great strain on wood fibres and can sometimes result in a split on the outside of a bend. Our experienced furniture makers know how to identify a split that would affect the quality of a finished product and they remove it from production. Superficial splits that appear only on the wood surface are repaired with a gluing process. Once it has been repaired and sanded, a surface-level split is smooth to the touch and has no effect on durability or usability. In many cases the repair fully blends with the natural grain of the wood, but when the wood is stained with a light colour the split can sometimes appear as a darker-shade letter V – adding character to your unique TON product.
We appreciate natural materials very much and therefore we pay attention to their careful use during the whole manufacturing process. We reduce the amount of unusable waste due to a systematic training of our employees and thorough in-house audits. The aim of environmental policy in TON is not only complying with legislative limits, but reaching the bounders of minimal overloading of the environment. We have succeeded in areas of air protection and wastewater management. By using water diluted paints, we minimize the amount of emissions of organic compounds, which can unfavourably aff ect human immune system. Our eff ort of working in compliance with the environment is highlighted by the certifi cate of environmental management ISO 14001.