WattWood: Creating Uniqueness With Fire & Smoke

Every now and then we come across interesting products, things that are different from what we’re used to. We love to feature unique products, designs that seamlessly combine form and function. We focus on startups that are based in the USA and are using innovation and design to solve problems. Or even to do things in a different way. But sometimes, a product stands out all by itself, because of how different it is, and WattWood falls into that category.

WattWood keyrings with Lichtenberg figures

Now, the thing about WattWood is that they produce coasters and keyrings. On the surface, it does not seem as though there’s anything special about that. And really, they are just keyrings and coasters, no reason at all why the WattWood campaign on Kickstarter.com should have so many backers.

Actually, their campaign on the crowdfunding platform has been fully funded, and the campaign is not even over yet. This is because WattWood is more than just keyrings and coasters. There’s something incredibly special about every single keyring or coaster.

unique WattWood coasters

What is Special About WattWood?

Well, the way the patterns are created is simply amazing. They use a semi-controlled electrical fire to form what is known as a Lichtenberg figure. And every time the process is performed, you are left with a unique pattern that’s different from all the others.

What is a Lichtenberg Figure?

Interestingly, this is a pattern that is everywhere around us, yet one that is so easy to overlook. Lichtenberg figures are found in nature, in the silhouette of a tree or veins of a leaf. It can also be found from rivers and lightning, oh and blood vessels.

So, what WattWood did was take these patterns from nature, amazing designs formed over millions of years, recreating them in seconds.

WattWood the process

How is WattWood Made?

Now, WattWood is made using 15,000 volts of electricity. That’s a whole lot of electricity, which they apply to engineered lumber to generate Lichtenberg patterns. Before that process, they coat the wood in a conductive solution. The result is that positive and negative electrodes get hooked up to the conductive wood surface.

Finally, the apply the high voltage to the wood. The electricity then eats its way through the wood, forming an erratic trail. This is what gives the unique patterns to all WattWood products. The beauty of this is that each product is unique. For the coasters, they double seal them so that liquid or moisture does not damage the wood. This is a really interesting process that results in a truly spectacular product.

WattWood logo

WattWood is 100% Made in the USA

Additionally, WattWood is manufactured in the USA and all the materials used are also sourced and made in the USA. The genius behind this is Andrew Leahy, a mechanical engineer who had tinkered and invented for most of his life. His goal is “to use science and technology to explore and build interesting products and machines.”

To conclude, WattWood looks like what could possibly become a collector’s item. Each piece is exquisite and definitely something most people like looking at. This is Andrew’s first Kickstarter campaign and you can find out more about it here.

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