Foto: Fabian Svensson
Most Swedish designers have a relationship with bent wood. Mats Theselius’ relationship, however, is a little more handson than usual. As a newly graduated student from Konstfack (the largest university of design, arts and crafts in Sweden), he boiled wood at home in his kitchen to bend it into a prototype of his first aluminium armchair.
"All designers have tried bent wood, from Josef Hofmann, Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe to Peter Celsing and Uno Åhrén. The whole world is filled with old bent wood chairs.
I remember one trip to Egypt in the early 80s; wherever we went, there were the classic café chairs made out of bent
wood, blasted by the desert sands for maybe a hundred years, beautifully worn and still in good condition. Totally durable and long-lasting furniture. Naturally I also wanted to give this technique a try. The craftsmanship is pretty special. At one point I was worried that Gemla and bent wood wasn’t an option any more, that it wasn’t possible to make and sell furniture crafted out of bent wood in Sweden. That’s why it feels good to try and prove the opposite with my new armchair."