Panels & Furniture Asia Nov/Dec 2018

November / December 2018 • Issue 6 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA 28 FURNITURE MANUFACTURING Q: How did you enter into the furniture manufacturing industry? WC: The family was into antiques and has a workshop. At that point in time, I did not have much design or manufacturing ideas, but we have a workshop so I was able to make furniture using old elm. Later on, as trends started and with passion, I started moving into using standard wood materials like oak, and delved into professional design, production and manufacturing. That’s how I moved from an antique workshop into the design and manufacturing industries. Q: Did you attend classes to learn the process of design andmanufacturing production or was it self-learnt? WC: I learnt it along the way. I had many different people helping me and spent a lot of time researching online such as studying Facebook, and other companies’ designs. There was also a lot of talking to suppliers and colleagues in the trade, visiting machinery companies and talking to the professionals. Slowly, I put everything together and created my own brand — Elmood. It was a long process and a lot of learning curves — from a single product to a line production, production knowledge and all. It was quite a jump but at that point in time I did not know. It was just, “Okay, let’s do it!” So that’s how it changed. Q: You mentioned that you've turned to using some standard wood materials. What other materials do you use for Elmood? WC: We started with elm, especially old elm. But then the material was becoming scarce. So we moved on to oak and walnut, which is the North American timber with plantations and wood that are treated, as well as proper lumber yards and mills. And so, the materials become a lot more standardised and treated for industrial production. Now, we're using oak and walnut with FSC certificates, which is a qualification to say that our wood are not from wild forests. Q: What are the techniques used to produce Elmood furniture? WC: There are a couple of techniques we used that are a little more special like the bent lamination. We created a very nice lamp called the Flamingo Floor Lamp using that technique. It's not a new technique but it's a very difficult one now for people to make because it takes a lot of time and craft. However, the major advantage is that once you bent the wood, it stays in shape and doesn't flex back. The other one is CLT (cross- laminated timber), which is a technique to stabilise solid wood to a much better extent. Solid wood has a natural behaviour where it changes in size, warps or cracks. By using CLT, you laminate the wood in different directions. The wood William Chiang, Founder of Elmood F/P Cabinet

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