In his new column in the January 2020 issue of Wood News, Bob Rummer discusses the appeal of natural materials and researches how grain and figure develop. All in an attempt to learn what it is that draws us to wooden surfaces?
Beyond the science and the woodworker’s knowledge of what wood grain means, there is something deeper. Psychologists and marketers have studied this for years. If we put two objects in front of someone (one plastic laminate and the other a nicely finished block of solid wood) and ask, “Which do you prefer?” – about 75% of people will say they prefer the real wood sample. This is called the “naturalness preference.”