BLACK MAGIC

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Char­coal is steadily in­fil­trat­ing all walks of life. Shou-sugi-ban, the Ja­panese art of weath­er­proof­ing wood by char­ring it, has been in­spir­ing the de­sign world, with artists such as Arno De­clercq, Jim Par­tridge and Liz Walm­s­ley, and Roberto Sironi all putting a flame to their wood­work, while John Birch has used car­bonised bam­boo in his col­lec­tion for Restora­tion Hard­ware. The detox­i­fy­ing cre­den­tials of ac­ti­vated char­coal see the sub­stance in­fil­trate ev­ery­thing from lemon­ade to pizza dough, while in the bath­room it has been fused into tow­els, face masks, tooth­brushes, make-up sponges and soaps. With its chem­i­cal-clear­ing and mois­ture- and bug-re­pelling qual­i­ties, it seems singed wood is prov­ing a blaz­ing suc­cess.

from left, kon­jac body sponge, £9, by nomess. char­coal And Aloe face cleanser, $25, by lit­tle­barn Apothe­cary. pore pen­e­trat­ing char­coal bar, £4, by bioré. flat top ves­sel, £2,400, by Jim par­tridge And liz walm­s­ley, from sarah my­er­scough gallery. ‘wyeth’ split bam­boo night­stand, $1,237, by John birch, for restora­tion hard­ware. bam­boo tooth­brush with char­coal bris­tles, $10 for three, by bmbu. raw co­conut And Ac­ti­vated char­coal tooth whiten­ing pol­ish, £27, by sis­ter & co, from lib­erty. Ja­panese bath towel, €72, from man­u­fac­tum. ‘eau’ carafe, £35, by black & blum. ‘gob­let’ vase, £900, by Arno de­clercq, from willer. ‘re­fuel’ drink, £4, by botanic lab

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