Billon by Vincent Kohler

Ever wonder how boards turn from trees into building materials? While not a secret, the process is also not entirely obvious – and rarely this clear or quite so visceral.

Billon side view wood sculpture

Vincent Kohler (photos by Geoffrey Cottenceau) shows the art and geometry of the dissection process in much the same way an insect specialist might cut and splice a living specimen (or a butcher’s chart shows where slabs of meat can be found).

Log drawing diagram

The result is a kind of three-dimensional version of a logging diagram drawing, showing in frozen time and physical reality how each cut is made and what the resulting sizes are, from which our minds can also reverse-engineer the order of cuts.

It’s a fascinating peek into just how precise manufacturing can be, as well. 

From Designboom:

“using a combination of polystyrene and resin, lausanne-based artist vincent kohler has developed ‘billon’ – a sculpture that demonstrates an exploded view of the inner workings of a tree. sectioned into various arrangements, the composition highlights the several different cuts of lumber – including the center pith and other vertical and flat grain pieces.”

Portrait of artist vincent Kohler

About artist Vincent Kohler:

“My work develops mainly in the field of sculpture, painting and publishing. My sculptures play on different registers such as the illusion, the diversion, the transformation or the enlargement of domestic objects, daily, popular or fantasized. The design of my pieces often comes from an interweaving of ideas and shapes from images of various sources and quirks discovered during travels.”

“In parallel with my training at Ecal, I founded a collective of artists, PAC, with whom we exhibited and managed a CAP exhibition space in Fribourg until 2003. I am currently part of the collective, Abc. I teach bachelor and master degree at the Haute école d’art et de design in Geneva. I also have a training as a musician, drummer, and played in several formations including Kunst, a rock band.”