Shaping Bamboo as it Grows

Shaping Bamboo as it Grows

Have you ever heard of, or experimented with “molding” guadua bamboo as it grows, to end up with a finished pole that has the exact shape you need?

I am researching these interesting helix shapes as Zome structures, and I realized that bamboo structural poles formed into the complicated spiral shapes needed would be perfect. Here is the link to info about it: Helix Zome.

All the necessary spiral poles would be exact copies of each other, so some sort of shape-retainer of the bamboo while it is growing would make for a super strong and very beautiful zome structure. If you have ever heard of anyone bending guadua bamboo as it grows, I would love to hear about it.

BTW you have got one excellent website! Thank you very much for all of your work on it. The amount and quality of content is superb.



Sanjan Replied:

Wow i love this method!

I was creating a bamboo dome, but had to bend it into place. The theme is power of 7 and has 7 points.

Enlightenment Dome, version one. It still needs to be straightened out and a chiffon added to the upper part of the dome. Power of 7, I have created a live interactive installation / artwork. The subject can view / experience it however they wish to. This is the 4th version of this structure I have created.

 

Stephane from Guadua Bamboo replied:

Shaping or bending bamboo as it grows is definitely possible although “exact” copies of a certain shape would be very difficult in my opinion.

Brian Erickson in Costa Rica grows twisted bamboo stems to built exclusive bamboo furniture. The video below gives an idea of how he does this.

The attached picture demonstrates another example of a “twisted Guadua bamboo forest” in Colombia. Again it is important to note that this isn't the natural growing behavior of Guadua angustifolia. It is artificially grown in these shapes and turns, usually by guiding the young bamboo shoots through car tires or suspending ropes.

Twisted Guadua Bamboo

Twisted Guadua Bamboo

The picture examples you provided however seem to use bamboo slats, which is the most common way in dome structures. Bamboo slats are very flexible and therefore easier to work with.