Tannic Acid by Steven Banken

Published on November 20, 2013


An old fact from the craft of woodworking forms the basis for this project. Oak contains a highly concentration of Tannic Acid which reacts with the iron oxide and results in a dark blue till blackcolor. This critical reaction transforms in this project to an added value.


Tannic Acid or Iron oxide in liquid form is applied on the materials. One element is applied on the material that contains the other element naturally. Two totally different materials will have a striking change into approximately the same color. They are affected and therefore come together by the chemical reaction. For example the legs of the stool are made of steel with a Oak part at the bottom.stevenbanken-tannic_acid_04

The high concentration of Tannic Acid ensures natural protection of the tree against fire, insect infestation and bacterial attacks. The highest concentration of tannic acid is located in the bark. In the past he bark of the oak was peeled of thin branches for the production of leather tannic Acid in the Netherlands.

This project is the beginning of a broad and devoted research in the world of Oak and his Tannic Acid. Further research in other materials, qualities of tannic acid and development of products will follow.
Steven Banken presented project ‘Tannic Acid’ during the Dutch Design Week 2013 in Eindhoven. The research contains material samples, a movie and prototypes. The movie demonstrates the chemical reaction between Tannic Acid and Iron oxide.
stevenbanken-tannic_acid_02Tannic Acid is applied in a circular motion on a steel plate. The plates are framed with an Oak strip.

stevenbanken-tannic_acid_10 stevenbanken-tannic_acid_07 stevenbanken-tannic_acid_08
stevenbanken-tannic_acid_09The legs of the stool are made of steel with an round Oak part at the bottom. The black color is the result of the chemical reaction between the two materials. The steel legs are visible at the seating and show the chemical reaction between the two materials.

Steven Banken

Movie about Tannic Acid:



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