Fox Chapel Publishing

Discover the Beauty and Wonder of
Wood Steam-bending

March 2019

March 2019



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Lancaster, PACharlie Whinney is the UK’s leading expert on steam-bending—the seemingly magical craft of bending wood with steam. Steam-bending is an ancient woodworking process, most traditionally used in boat building and barrel making. But for Whinney it’s a mystical practice that produces astonishing works of art.

“When you bend a hot piece of wood, it is briefly reanimated into a living thing, and you can see and feel aspects of the wood which are not perceptible until that moment,” Whinney says. “There is a sort of conversation going on between you and the ghost of the tree and you must respond, or risk losing the piece you are working on.”

“Explore relationships between materials, people and the environment, by developing projects that blur the boundaries between fine art, architecture and design, resulting in beautiful, ecological and innovative results.” ~Design Gallerist

In a new book, Wood & Steam: Steam-Bending Techniques to Make 16 Projects in Wood, Whinney shares his unique steam-bending secrets. While his gallery of work may seem impossible, the reader will soon discover that wood can be made to behave in remarkable ways with the application of a little heat and steam.

An award-winning product designer, Whinney has spent his career combining his architectural knowledge with his knack for 3D design. He now commissions his art through the Charlie Whinney Design Studio in the UK where he creates practical pieces such as furniture and lighting, as well as fine art that is seen in galleries and other spaces.

Whinney’s book was created to demystify the art of steam-bending and shows beginner and advanced artisans how to create 13 steam-bent masterpieces. Whinney also reveals best practices for sourcing ecological wood, an increasingly growing topic for wood artists.

Check out the magic of steam-bending this April when Wood & Steam: Steam-Bending Techniques to Make 16 Projects in Wood launches.  

About Charlie Whinney

Charlie Whinney studied Architecture at Kingston University, Furniture Design at Rycotewood and 3D Design for Sustainability at Falmouth College of Art. He co-founded Cornish design company Sixxis, where he designed many award-winning products, before forming the Charlie Whinney Studio in 2008. Now based in the Lake District National Park in the UK, Charlie continues to create with wood as well as teaching popular classes on the art of steam bending.

About Fox Chapel Publishing

Fox Chapel Publishing inspires and informs readers who enjoy a wide variety of hobbies, crafts, and lifestyle interests. The company specializes in illustrated nonfiction with a focus on artisan and high-quality craft books. Fox Chapel publishes more than 1,500 book titles as well as several craft magazines. The publisher’s imprints include CompanionHouse Book, Creative Homeowner, Design Originals, Happy Fox Books, IMM Lifestyle Books, Landauer Publishing, Old Pond Publishing, and Quiet Fox Designs. For more information, please visit