Invert Material, explore what your material isn’t –

I wanted to explore the materiality of Plywood, what it is and what it is not. What it can be made to do, how it can be manipulated.

I did this by experimenting with the veneering of plywood. Plywood is an incredibly versatile base material, but its faces aren’t very pretty. This is why plywood is so often veneered with oak, walnut, chestnut, laminate etc. The interesting thing about plywood is that the beautiful part that everybody wants to leave exposed is the side profile, its visible construction of multiple layers. That is the pretty part.

Emailed Olivia to get more information on the Plywood blades –


Gabby mentioned Charles Eames Prosthetic leg – + The book Design for Disability –



+ Heres a ted talk


At first I thought about making a wheel for a wheelchair, using only Ply, but I realised this wasn’t necessary. I spoke with Martin and her advised that I make new Plywood, or experiment with veneers.


Cardboard Ply

Chemical Welds

Denim Ply

Add a surface to change a materials intention. Leather Ply or Carborundum..

At the point I had produced a history of Plywood.


+ Then went on to produce a document that explained the qualities of Ply various, so stealing the methods use to produce Plywood traditionally + using it as a benchmark in terms of suitable materials etc –


I found this ^ particularly exciting and rewarding.

Plywood is a super versatile material. Even through the duality of faces between just 6mm of space, it can be a cheeseboard sandpaper anti-slip denim veneered extraordinaire. or a chocolate veneered ping pong bat with a bubble wrap reverse.




In trying to turn other things into Plywood, I proved that it is a great process in which rotating the gran 90 degrees per layer creates a very strong composite. even out of Madeira cake or banana skins.. cardboard.


This is stuff I already knew, but in doing all of this, I feel I know Plywoods construction and chemical makeup far more and understand its triumph but can start to push the boundaries in terms of veneers and what can be done with it.


So the first material that came to mind in my questioning of the materiality of old age and frailty was/is plywood. So I just wanted to see what Plywood can be and prove its versatility as a base from which to materialise my designs. it is a worthwhile base. It proves that doing what has been done before is ok, and in doing it you will make it your own way.


where to go – Retirement homes, fancy and shabby.

spend time with people – in old peoples homes the things that we use are as depressing as the situation.


Origin is grandad running away from these places, remember that!

Toothpaste Veneer – keep experimenting with plywood veneers –

Maybe get lots of offcuts and uniform them + create a nice library of veneers to photograph – do 10?

then I have continued this process but in a more scientific and visually appealing way.

plywood jelly? new plywood finishes…






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