Pinch Noir

Submitted by: BRYAN CUSH

Pinch Noir
Type: Open
Category: Eat, Play, Sleep
Date: May, 2017

Pinch Noir

Submitted by: BRYAN CUSH
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Pinch Noir is a matt black, traditionally ebonised, timber bench designed around methods of concealing and displaying reading material.

The Whole Story


The idea behind Pinch Noir was to create a sculptural piece of furniture designed around principles of displaying and concealing reading material. It is intended for use as a hallway seating bench or as a coffee table. The piece’s black finish is achieved through traditional ebonising methods rather than using oil-based stains (refer to sustainability section for more information).

The act of ‘pinching’ a rectangular loop forms a narrow, shadowy nook to stash away trash magazines or whatever the user’s personal vice may be. At the other end of the spectrum, embedded brass strips act as hanging rails to display and keep more important publications close at hand.

The timber form cantilevers over a polished brass leg, reflecting the surrounding environment; reinforcing the haunched, stealth-like silhouette of the form.

Detailing of Pinch Noir is derived primarily through structural requirements rather than aesthetics. A ‘perpendicular lamination’ concept of creating a series of ‘loops’ and ‘spacers’ within the piece was formulated around stripping out any unnecessary weight and excess material wastage. Placing each of these ‘loops’ under tension creates a remarkably strong yet lightweight bench capable of seating 3 people.

By tapering the spacers along the upper face of the bench it drops the spines of magazines on the rails flush with the surface of the piece.


Pinch Noir is constructed from sustainably-harvested, FSC-certified Victorian Ash which is ebonised to a jet-black finish without using any stains or dyes but instead utilises a traditional Iron Acetate (derived from dissolving steel wool in vinegar) ebonisation technique.

The piece is prepared for ebonisation by hand-rubbing several coats of concentrated black tea into the timber, boosting it’s tannin count, which then chemically reacts with Iron Acetate gradually turning the timber black. The main advantage of ebonising is that it avoids the resins, solvents, and petroleum distillates (all of which are known pollutants to our groundwater) contained within standard oil-based stains. The ebonisation process also has the advantage of being fully reversible with the application of oxalic acid.

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