Welcome to The Blackwood Project New Zealand an all kiwi business in the Waikato specializing in Yakisugi (or Shou Sugi Ban) the traditional japanese art of fire conditioning timber.
What is shou sugi ban or Yakisugi?
The correct name in Japan is Yakisugi, meaning burnt cypress. The popular term "Shou sugi ban" is a miss interpretation of the Kanji characters, and a word/phrase that doesn't exist in the Japanese language.
Yakisugi was devised 100s of years ago to make wood less susceptible to fire, to keep away insects and rot, and improve the timber's life span. This traditional Japanese method involves Charring Japanese Cedar. The charred cedar is long-lasting and hauntingly beautiful. The Blackwood Project charres wood for cladding, fences and garden borders.
Where is the Blackwood Project?
We are a waikato based timber mill that has been in operation for 26 years felling New Zealand Native Timbers and New Zealand grown Californian Redwood.
Why did we start The Blackwood Project?
Working in the timber milling business for a number of years we noticed many people were interested in the finish of Japanese burnt timber Yakisugi (Shou sugi ban.)
Before making this part of our timber business needed to see the process and the product in its traditional setting. We flew to Japan to see how Yakisugi is done by the masters and learn why it works so well. We were impressed, and it was reassuring to see so many old examples of Yakisugi still looking great today, many were over 120 years old.
As timber professionals we could see excellent benefits to the end user from a process that made the timber stronger, more stable and maintenance free.
With what we learnt in Japan, we started to experiment with different effective burning techniques. After 1000s of hours and twice as many meters of timber we made good progress. Today we are very excited to say we now offer Yakisugi Japanese burning for all your projects.