Story | 12/05/2016 08:21:00

Plywood in a different light

Marjut Meronen

Wood has always been his passion. German forestry engineer Martin Czurgel moved to Finland to be with his girlfriend about three years ago. He spent his first cold winter in a wood-heated house. Cutting firewood, he noticed that the light was beautiful as it shimmered through a very thin slice of wood. The idea of wooden lamps was born.

Today, this mainly self-educated carpenter and father of a toddler girl creates different types of lamps using plywood as one of his raw materials. Martin Czurgel is especially smitten with the graphic surface that the veneer structure of plywood creates. He started designing a new lamp series called Erivan for Habitare, the interior, design and furniture fair in Helsinki. The feedback he got was encouraging. The atmosphere created by the lamps takes your mind straight to Japanese décor traditions.


Martin creates the lamps by gluing several sheets of plywood together and cutting very thin end grain slices from the wooden beams. The slices are so thin that they are translucent. This plywood technique has been granted European protection of design.

“I just put it together – it’s the nature doing the design,” Martin says.


The nature and sustainable values are close to Martin’s heart. He has studied in a university that specializes in sustainable development and environmental protection which has strongly influenced his philosophy. In Martin’s opinion, it is important for us to deal carefully and responsibly with the resources that we have. He appreciates the fact that WISA-Spruce plywood is PEFC certified.

Martin also uses natural finishes. If wooden material is left unfinished, it may bend and crack as it dries, but Martin has developed a perfect finish for this purpose using natural waxes and linseed oil. Martin sees several advantages in using plywood. It doesn’t bend when it dries like heavy timber does, and the graphic structure of the plywood gives the lamps a charming but modern look.

“The illumination that is created when light shines through the wood is one of the most natural lights you can bring to your home. It is very warm and calming.”

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