2.18.2010

Thonet Porn and the Chair That Grew

I'm on a bit of a Thonet kick right now. I don't have any of it, not that it's so terribly precious. Though once, years ago, I was interning for an interior designer who selected a pair of very, very fine early Thonet backless-benches for the foot of a bed. Guest bedroom, mind you -- as I recall, they were 9K apiece.

No matter. Pretty pictures:



Ordering slip, please?



This looks like one of the Eames for Herman Miller promo shoots:



And this table looks positively evil, like it's going to grab your leg, or prance around the room, bucking whatever you put on it onto the floor:



I understand the desire for a sinuous line. And I respect the mechanical innovation and production techniques that Thonet ushered in, but in some ways I wish they'd considered going the way of John Krubsack (discovered here):



He grew his chair entire, and after 11 years of careful pruning and manipulation, he harvested a group of saplings modeled into a chair, with joints "cemented by nature." How charming and ludicrous would this be on the scale of mass production? If the Japanese can have watermelons grown into cubes, I want to know why we can't have trees shaped into chairs. Or tables, or beds. Thonet, I think you are the clear choice for this innovation.

There are people working in this medium today, albeit on a small scale:



What I find interesting about this is that it's clear this chair is never meant to be harvested -- I like to imagine it in a few hundred years, fat and even weirder than it is now.

6 comments:

Mlle Paradis said...

What a mind can conceive, crazy bearded men can achieve. I actually have two that look like that first picture. Like all great things they've spent much of their lives in someone else's attic.

Daniel-Halifax said...

i'll take two of the benches that look like the cheshire cats smile. for my imaginary guest house.

Rambling Tart said...

How utterly fantastic! I love it! :-) Can you imagine how delightful it would be as a child to discover such a thing in the woods or an orchard? Splendid!

kiki said...

very very cool images. Love thonet too. my score was one i purchased for $10!! at a flea market!!

Liane said...

my lord. fascinating living tree. and requiring patience way beyond me.
i found your blog via the remodelista link and love your posts/various interests and inspirations. and also your blog links. so enjoying it! thanks. -liane

Anonymous said...

I love how you say the table looks positively evil. I love that description.

-Zane of ontario honey

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