TreeShell (2013, 2010)
Sliced birch tree, laser etching, speaker, rechargeable battery, circuitry. 3.5" diameter x 1.5" high.
A small disc cut from a birch tree magically plays sounds of the forest when held up to the ear – wind blowing through trees, leaves crunching, birds chirping. A mysterious soundscape unfolds as you listen, and stops when put down, waiting to be picked up again.
The etching on its face is a 19th century engraving of the inner ear; the cochlea is often noted for its similarity to a seashell, but here rather than the ocean, the memory of the forest is heard. (The German word for cochlea, ohrmuschel, literally translates as "ear-shell.")
The underside has a recessed cutout reminiscent of an old phone earpiece. Electronics, a speaker, and a rechargeable battery are hidden inside. TreeShell comes with a micro-USB cable and can be recharged using any USB port.
TreeShell was selected to be part of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Design Store Destination:NYC collection.
MAKING OF: www.ericforman.com/blog/making-of-treeshell
Each TreeShell is handmade in Brooklyn. Box comes with signed paper insert. Natural variations in wood will cause each one to look unique and slightly different from photos.