Shou Sugi Ban or Yakisugi, is a Japanese artisanal technique. In this tecnique, the outer layers of cedar wood are burned to create a product which is then used to coat the exterior of houses. This surface carbonization creates a layer that protects the wood from water, it delays the effects of fire and it prevents insects from feeding or nesting in it.
When it is determined that the surface has been sufficiently charred, the process is stopped by submerging the battens in water, making sure that the fire is completely extinguished. Once the wood is dry, it can be used as a coating. While experimenting with this Japanese artisan technique on pine wood, I observed that the high resin content of the pine fueled the fire and caused the char to penetrate more intensely and unevenly.
art direction and photography by Armand Carrillo and Pol Alert