17 Sept 2022
Industrial & Product Design, Other
Design studio Playfool is inviting participants to craft their own crayons from locally soured bees wax and coloured by powdered wood. The workshop is inspired by Playfool’s Forest Crayons, currently on show in the From the Forest display at the V&A’s Furniture Gallery. Booking required.
To celebrate the launch of Make Good: Rethinking Material Futures (supported by John Makepeace OBE) we are hosting a series of workshops during LDF, with some of the designers and makers that are part of the From the Forest display in the V&A’s Furniture Gallery. One of the design studios that form part of From the Forest is Playfool, founded by Dan and Saki Coppen. Playfool are inviting participants to craft their own Forest Crayons in the V&A’s Art Studio. This time they are working with locally sourced wood and beeswax—some of which comes from the V&A’s very own rooftop beehives, managed by The London Honey Company. Playfool takes a play-based approach to design and engineering to produce award-winning products, experiences and entertainment that spark imagination and foster creativity. With their Forest Crayons, currently on display in the V&A’s Dr Susan Weber Gallery of Furniture, Dan and Saki wanted to explore the untapped potential of Japan’s forests and develop a new way to play with wood. Two-thirds of Japan is covered in afforested land. These forests were planted after the end of the second world war but, due to the high level of management that they require and a demand for cheaper imported timber, they have fallen into neglect. Without proper management, they have come to contribute to an increase in landslides and other environmental problems. Playfool wanted to bring this issue to people’s attention – and started experimenting with locally sourced wood, to better understand the capacities of the material. By grinding wood into a very fine powder, they realised that it is possible to extract vibrant pigments from wood, and that by mixing the powdered pigments with wax they could make one of the most accessible and universal playthings: a crayon. Forest Crayons was supported by the Japanese Forestry Agency and highlights the issue of under-utilised, home-grown wood. Each workshop is 2 hours long and free to attend, but booking is essential. All participants have to be over 18 due to the tools used. All materials will be provided free of charge.