These lanterns are the result of my working with fresh bamboo for the first time. My Austin bamboo mentor, the late Mark Meckes, supplied the bamboo and taught me more about the material, including traditional and modern ways to split the wood. Using a six-sided splitter, I discovered how a single piece of bamboo could be formed to create a new shape.
To create this lantern, a single stock of bamboo is split, shaped, and wrapped to create a simple, unique, and complete design that uses the wood’s own strength and beauty. To form the joints, I examined and tested the material’s natural bending strength, shear strength, growth tolerance, and splitting tolerances.
As a result, the lantern’s inner ribbings are made of processed bamboo strips that are soaked and bent into shape, then heated to extract the natural sugars latent in bamboo. When cooled, the sugar hardens and the material retains its new shape. The result is a lantern that is both true to the material and easily manufactured with this natural jointing process.