One of the nice things about building a European chair in Europe is that it is very easy to make it look, well, European.
Today we wrapped up the final day of a class at Dictum GmbH in Munich on building a Kaare Klint Safari chair – the direct descendant of the British Roorkhee chair. To build the chair, we had some trouble finding some of the rustic hardware that I like to build a Roorkhee with, such as solid copper rivets and unplated steel hardware.
But we had no problem getting beautiful quartered European beech, Swedish leather and chromed hardware and rivets, which we all perfect for the Kaare Klint version of this 20th-century classic chair.
In fact, the only things that look a little “off” on this version of the chair are the details I brought to the party: brass buckles and copper rivets.
But let’s not dwell on that.
Instead, take a gander at this 1933 version of an 1898 camping chair. Klint managed to harness the fundamental function of the Roorkhee and shift the decorative details into a modern vein without the chair looking anything other than perfect.
For me, it reminds me of the way that Shaker furniture can be “updated” with some modern details without suffering jet lag across the decades (see the work of Christian Becksvoort and Garrett Hack for more in this vein).
I’m glad the class is over (it took less than four days to make the chair), though it was a heck of a good time. Now I have seven days in Europe with my family and laptop (to finalizing the Roubo details).
— Christopher Schwarz