Just when we think we've seen every permutation of common production methods and materials under the sun, someone comes up with a new one. Israeli industrial designer Hilla Shamia's "wood casting" technique involves pouring molten aluminum directly onto dead tree trunks. The surface of the word gets burned, as you'd imagine, and the molten metal flows into the cracks, "completing" the voids in the wood with a shinier surrogate.
The wood is then machined into a rectilinear shape, rendering them into the topmost surfaces of stools and endtables. It's not clear if the legs are also machined afterwards, or formed directly into their final shape during the initial casting; that's the secret sauce, we guess.
Those of you with a sensitive affinity for wood probably cringe a bit at the burning part, I know I did. But Shamia knows what she's doing and understands the role of artifice: "The negative factor of burnt wood is transformed into aesthetic and emotional value by preservation of the natural form of the tree trunk, within explicit boundaries," she writes. "The general, squared form intensifies the artificial feeling, and at the same time keeps the memory of the material."