Material dialogue

When working with wood, Rens Hein experiences a sense of harmony with the material. ‘Material dialogue’ consists of a series of objects that are formed by close observation of the material, its will, limits, qualities and functions. The works evolved out of the natural features of the material.


In ‘Protecting’ an oak tree’s outer layer is turned inside out, thus protecting the bark from the process of lumber making, where it is usually lost.



Wood is a living material that shrinks and expands, this can cause great unwanted forces.
Humans have a tendency to try to control this natural process. I found this larch beam outside a shed, at first it must have been straight and probably perfect to use for construction. But during the drying process it will have started to twist and crack. 
To emphasise this I created two trestles that are adjusted to the beams twisted shape.
Instead of ‘correcting’ its normal behaviour I wanted to embrace it, to respect and honour this extraordinary form and the property of the material.


Pine is a fast growing needle tree that is often used as a construction material. 
I wanted to know what happens inside the tree, as in a röntgen image. With this piece you can see how branches come and go. It shows a chronological storyboard and almost looks like an immensely detailed hand drawing, If you see it in front of a light it reveals the life path of the tree.



Wood must be strong to withstand the storm, yet it must be flexible to the changing wind so that it is not broken by the elements. This characteristic is expressed in this object, seeing a solid piece of ash that turns into separate strips that can wave under their own weight like a tree in the wind.
The walnut clamp reassembles the individuals and forms the key for the viewer, giving him access to an interaction with the object. To feel the tension and experience the wood for a while.