Gallery: Wood-Covered Gadgets Take It Old School


Most of our modern-day gadgets are swathed in plastic or other high-tech materials, and why wouldn’t they be? Plastic is both cheap and easy to produce. But English Russia‘s display of wooden gadgets shows that sometimes the most elegant items are the simplest.

As you might suspect, wood-covered devices don’t come cheap and never have. According to English Russia, wood-covered clocks were popular in the 19th century among Russian Tzars and other well-off members of society. Few of the clocks survived the Russian Revolution and the Communist reign, and those that did are available in antique shops for the steep price of $20,000. That hefty price tag still applies today and is likely the reason many wood craftsmen have given up their trade or reverted to other materials.

Quality wood is usually reserved for construction works, so its hard to find top-notch lumber for, say, a wood-covered computer mouse. But we imagine if more electronic items were covered in wood, users would be less likely to toss them in the trash. Instead, we’d just return a product when it reached the end of its lifecycle, wait to see how nimble-fingered artisans reused the material to elevate the next tech trend and be grateful that the craft of woodworking had lived to see another day.

Via English Russia and Treehugger


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  1. Elder Abuse June 23, 2009 at 12:09 am

    The watch looks absolutely amazing! I’m thinking about the environmental impact of these items though. Is it better than metal? Plastic?

  2. jenfrombathe May 2, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Yes please!

  3. TanyaN. April 30, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    great looking design, very creative.

  4. Trey Farmer April 30, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    I am imagining a wood covered computer station and smiling widely. The Steampunk people have done some stuff in this vein but this is great!

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