by , 12/03/05


Remember being in 5th grade, and really into dinosaurs and fossils?

Apparently, a few designers, collectors, and decorators have returned to the prehistoric aesthetic for cutting edge furnishings. Having been used in nearly every other form for furniture, wood has taken on a new life (so to speak) in its petrified state, as chairs, tables, desks, and other objects. Petrified wood is essentially stone, having absorbed silica for millions of years and eventually fossilizing. It is undeniable that the material has an innate beauty ? resembling marble or gemstones, while retaining the grain of wood.

But as with most things that are millions of years old, much of its beauty comes from its age. It is awesome that anything can be as tenacious as to put up with a harsh environment (volcanic eruption, catastrophic floods, and the like) for so long. That being said, should petrified wood really be excavated, milled, and carved up?

Very few items available today represent the Jurassic and Triassic periods. The Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona was designated as a national monument in 1906 to preserve and protect petrified wood for its scientific value. While seemingly plentiful in some regions, it does not validate that whatever is harvested, can never be replaced.

Or can it? Earlier this year, a lab in Washington State announced that they were successful in petrifying wood in only a matter of days. Is mass produced, petrified wood furniture on the horizon? That is really hard to say- but in the end, time will tell.

(Thanks Geoff)

Via The New York Times

also see: Petrified Forest National Park

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  1. AgK January 3, 2011 at 7:22 am

    My friends entire house exterior is petrified wood, and it looks friggin’ AWESOME! There was so much lying around that they decided (back in the early 1900’s when the house was built) to just use it for building materials. There’s ever some on the interior around the fireplace as well, and there’s a huge stock pile of it in the backyard.

  2. Christopher December 9, 2005 at 9:56 pm

    Admittedly, I would love to have petrified kitchen counters. That said, there just can’t be enough petrified wood out there in the wild to satisfy the voracious appetite for building materials. What’s your guess? Ten years before the total stock is depleted? All just to be pulverized when some new material comes along?

    Naah. Leave it where it is. Let children marvel at it 100 generations from now.

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