The Japanese technique called Shou Sugi Ban is a way of preserving wood by charring it with fire. And by char, we mean torched so that it is engulfed in flames. In the link below you’ll find some rather dramatic pictures and a video that illustrates the technique. It was traditionally used to preserve Japanese cedar siding. It’s said that this technique is an environmentally friendly way to even make wood fire-resistant. Hmmm… That might be hard to believe; regardless, it’s a pretty cool process that yields a very unique finish.