Finishing loblolly pine with fire: Michael J. Moran's Shou Pine-y Ban
April 17, 2016 | 8:14 pm CDT
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Since 2004, Michael Moran, and now his partner Celia Gibson, can be found, chisel in hand, building each unique object one piece at a time, one hand-cut joint at a time, watching wood become a functional work of art. 

Moran says his vision is one in which materials, primarily wood, and its natural characteristics are central. Taking these characteristics into consideration, our intention is to place each individual board and its idiosyncrasies into a context where it is best expressed aesthetically, ideologically and functionally.

"Since we've been working with charring pine, we make sure to not refer to it as Shou Sugi Ban (the name inherently implies the use of the Sugi tree, a Japanese Cedar tree) and instead refer to it - with a laugh - as Shou 'Piney' Ban," says Moran. "While we're still using the traditional method to char it (boards tied together like a chimney; not using a torch) we are using a different material."

In 2002, Michael Moran began practicing his craft in Charleston, South Carolina, first as an apprentice and then as the proprietor of Moran Woodworked Furniture. Twelve years later, Michael and Celia moved their main workshop to an idyllic property in the Hudson Valley.

Celia Gibson received her BA from Emory University in English and Art History. Her master’s studies at University College London focused on the science of vision and its impact on visual art in modern British literature. Over her last five years in London, Celia worked in arts publishing at the Tate and the Royal Academy of Art. In 2010, she moved back to the states to join Moran Woodworked Furniture as a partner.

www.moranwoodworked.com

 

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About the author
Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for WoodworkingNetwork.com, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for WoodworkingNetwork.com.

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.