Interview: The Handmade Tree Chair

This article is part of The GOOD (and ReadyMade) Guide to Slowing Down, from GOOD Issue 18. Read more of the guide here. Peter Cook...

This article is part of The GOOD (and ReadyMade) Guide to Slowing Down, from GOOD Issue 18. Read more of the guide here.Peter Cook and Becky Northey, Australians, wanted to see if it was possible to grow a chair. So they tried. Then they tried growing other things-mirror frames, tables, tree people-and the results are what they call Pooktres.Why a tree chair? We started exploring the possibility of "I wonder if I can grow a chair" in 1987. So we began playing with Pete's original concept of creating with trees.How long does it take to make a Pooktre? From one to 10 growing seasons, depending on the design.How many parts are there? Either one tree or small groupings of trees.What is the hardest part about making one? Getting the design and framework right, understanding your tree's reactions. The more gradual the shaping of the tree the better.How many did you make? We have about 70 different art projects on the go.Why are your chairs better than mass-produced ones you can get at a store? Creating with living trees is the way of the future. Once there is a method that other people can replicate, trees will be viewed differently, therefore transforming the world.Can you share a few words of wisdom about the benefits of doing things the slow way? Many people believe tree-shaping takes far too long, but that is not how tree-shaping should be viewed. Rather, think of it like this: The time you spend shaping a tree is captured by the tree, and then amplified over time. Twenty, 30, 50, or maybe a few hundred years from now, people will be able to see and enjoy a tree that you shaped. Why not leave a gift for the future?LEARN MORE: To see the chair and other tree creations, visit pooktre.comIllustration by Tim Lahan

A two-minute television ad from New Zealand is a gut punch to dog lovers who smoke cigarettes. "Quit for Your Pets" focuses on how second-hand smoke doesn't just affect other humans, but our pets as well.

According to Quitline New Zealand, "when you smoke around your pets, they're twice as likely to get cancer."

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via Bossip / Twitter

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders took aim at former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg onstage at Wednesday's Las Vegas Democratic debate, likening the billionaire businessman to President Donald Trump and questioning his ability to turn out voters.

Sanders began by calling out Bloomberg for his stewardship of New York's stop and frisk policy that targeted young black men.

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via United for Respect / Twitter

Walmart workers issued a "wake up call" to Alice Walton, an heir to the retailer's $500 billion fortune, in New York on Tuesday by marching to Walton's penthouse and demanding her company pay its 1.5 million workers a living wage and give them reliable, stable work schedules.

The protest was partially a response to the company's so-called "Great Workplace" restructuring initiative which Walmart began testing last year and plans to roll out in at least 1,100 of its 5,300 U.S. stores by the end of 2020.

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