The story of Torben / the wood whisperer
Like many pioneers and revolutionaries, entrepreneurs of industry, our own Torben Hansen was not a model student. Neither has he acquired the ability to gain profound knowledge through reading books. Rather than learning what others have already discovered, he prefers using his own senses, observation and interpretation. He loves exploring nature and turns to her for inspiration and guidance. Torben Hansen explored the Danish and Bavarian forests, observing how not only growing trees and plants but even their fallen elements awaken when water washes over them. Their cells expand and relax, their appearance transforms; their properties change. He was able to explore wood through the powers of his perception and experimentation aided by a few simple tools: magnifying glass, microscopes, ovens, natural ingredients, and jars of water. No books were needed to truly comprehend the nature of wood. His devotion, or obsession, towards this study was recognized and brought love in return. The spirit of wood loves Torben Hansen, and it has revealed to him secrets hidden from others.
Unique product or surface treatment/unique approach
The findings behind the Schotten & Hansen products are truly revolutionary, defying the common sense of the woodworking industry. Wood and water don't mix, says the industry wide proverb. Yes, but that does not apply to the products of Schotten & Hansen, because the very structure of their wood fibers has been altered. One of Torben's discoveries has been that wood needs to be washed prior to the finishing process. So it can always be re-washed and re-used for a long time, just like the blue jeans he was wearing. If his jeans could survive dozens of washings, his wood surfaces would survive many more, because wood fibers are way stronger than linen. Even in busy commercial places like hotel lobbies, where floors have to be refinished every couple of years, Schotten & Hansen floors could be re-washed and their rejuvenated surfaces could last for centuries. Torben has developed his own drying process, where wood is kept under intensified pressure and fluctuating moisture content before it is allowed to come back to equilibrium. This lasts long enough to force the tunnels within the wood fiber to change permanently, so later they can receive a deeper saturation and a stronger bond with the surface finish. That is part of the reason why the Schotten & Hansen finish feels and wears in such a unique way. Sand off or scrape off worn wooden surface, instruct the industry guidelines. Again, that does not apply to the timeless nature of Schotten & Hansen surfaces.
Going beyond the finishing / Surface treatments
Due to the magnificent wavy shrunk texture Torben has developed, scratches and dents can easily be dealt with locally, or better yet be left in place to add to the patina of an older floor. The Schotten & Hansen rejuvenation process allows a complete removal of their propitiatory mix of waxes, oils, and other natural products through washing it off only with the specially prepared deep tissue cleaner. Once the surface dries out, it is first healed by the absorption of the same 'oak water' that was originally removed during the primary oven drying. In all other kilns around the world these vapors get released into the atmosphere. Only Schotten & Hansen collects this liquid and uses it in its rejuvenation processes. Once these wood fibers are healed they can be re-colored and brought to their original condition. The color can be altered at this time as well, if desired.
Schotten & Hansen for everyone
These unique uneven textures and natural timeless surfaces of floor boards, doors, wall panels, acoustical panels, tables, beds, and chairs are so spectacular and precious that we want the ones we love the most to be able to play with them as well. Making these interior elements available in miniaturized (to scale of 22.5%) might even bring groups of our 4 to 10 year old girls and boys together, because we can't see how anyone could refrain themselves from appreciating these amazing wood textures. Perhaps they will drop their guns and join their sisters in a peaceful play. Well, that could even change the world, and that is above and beyond what Torben Hansen ever intended. He only wants to share with many of us the experience of seeing and touching the most beautiful wooden surface you will ever see. He believes that just as we chose our partner in life and how we will always love our children, we could be surrounded with timeless wooden surfaces and love them forever with all our memories they share. For the last decade Schotten & Hansen has been working relentlessly on designing a floor system that would allow the solid feeling of a glued down surface, but safe removal of floor boards as well. We move, the floor goes with us, like a family member. We are proud to announce that this task has just been accomplished and you can now enjoy this amazing wooden surface not only in the comfort of your home but anywhere, even temporarily. You can take it with you or we will purchase it back from you, wash it back to bare wood, rejuvenate it, and turn it into something magnificent again. This amazing product deserves such respect.