Traditional craft techniques have been in decline, and have mostly been replaced almost entirely by modern production methods. But in recently years we’ve seen some trends aimed at reviving some of them. Which is not a bad thing, since things that have been learned through trial and error and have stood the test of time deserve a place in the modern world.
Such is also the philosophy behind this gorgeous chair, which is the result of the collaboration between the UK-based designer Christopher Jenner and Felicity Irons, one of the last rush weavers in Europe.
They began their work by first reclaiming the necessary materials by foraging the banks of a river. The frame of the chair is made out of 28 sculptural components that were milled from English oak using 5 axis CNC. Each of these pieces is curved individually and then connected to the others, with the junctions highlighted by bringing together pieces with slightly different wood grains. The seat, on the other hand, was hand woven using Scirpus lacustris (a rush native to England and harvested locally by the river Ouse) by Felicity. The weaving process took 7 weeks, and she did not use any chemicals in the process. A series of mechanical oak dowels was then used to attach the seat to the wooden frame.
Only a limited edition of twelve of these chairs was made, as a way to show that modern techniques can easily exist side by side with traditional methods of making furniture to create a piece of furniture that is stylish, unique and practical. Given the care with which it was constructed, it will also very likely stand the test of time. The chair is available from Gallery FUMI, in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, where it can also be viewed.