Understanding the transition of shou sugi ban.
The largest consideration for home-owners who love the look and feel of a timber clad home is the ongoing maintenance with reapplication of oil stain every 2 years, and the associated costs. Yakisugi makes maintenance something you will hardly think about. But you need to understand the evolution of shou sugi ban and how it transitions over time. Charred timber cladding offers two main options as the final finishes, either Suyaki - the traditional full char or Gendai charred and brushed. (also PikaPika Charred, double brushed distressed look) It is this evolution of the charred finish that makes your cladding part of mother nature and not something that denies the effects of time. The Japanese have an appreciation for these changes, which they have called Wabisabi. This word or ethos basically translates as the love and appreciation of natures imperfections and impermanence. Sometimes described as one of appreciating beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete" in nature.
The top photo shows Suyaki the week of installation look fresh and ebony black.
With the full charred finish we add a special oil that sets as a resin into the char giving it more strength and longevity. Traditionally in Japan no oil is used the char was always designed to be a sacrificial layer that is meant to protect the timber, and over years slowly disappear to reveal the timber grain below. I have seen examples of this in Japan where the char remains intact after 30 years, even without oil to protect the char. The one unknown in New Zealand is how long the char will last, but it will last a very long time. We estimate 15 to 20 years. Eventually the Suyaki will give way to reveal the textural Gendai and evolve into a new look. (see below for the next stage of the Yakisugi transition)
Aging Shou Sugi Ban.
The second photo above shows the transitioning of shou sugi ban as the timber grain below starts to reveal itself due to the char eroding away. This building is estimated to be 5-10 year old. As you can see the charred cladding takes on a new perhaps even more stunning look, and with the reapplication of oil every 5 - 7 years the char erosion is greatly slowed. Eventually, the char will disappear, and you are presented with the stunning timber grain below.
Its important to realise that the char disappearing does not mean the cladding must be replaced, what you end up with is a beautiful timber clad home and if you apply oil stain the timber is will be the same as our gendai finish.
Gerndai - Charred and brushed shou sugi ban.
Many people prefer the beautiful texture and contours of Gendai and do not want to wait years to see it. With this finish, we simply do the work for mother nature and remove the char with our 6 head brushing machine. The beauty of a charred and brushed board is truly captivating. The softer summer growth burns in a concave manner leaving the hard winter growth rings to become ridges looking like a birds eye view over a large landscape.