Fantastic Mid-Century Seating in the Vein of ‘The Anarchist’s Design Book’

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Dennis Santella dug up three great-looking staked furniture pieces – two benches and two chairs – from the middle of the 20th century that are all connected to Jean Touret and posted them on the forum (check out that discussion here).

I’m smitten by all three, though I’m most fond of the bench by Atelier Marolles. The idea of combining two groups of three staked legs is genius. Plus the rake and splay of the legs add an animalistic appeal.

I also really like the four saddled areas on the seat with matching curves in the back. I contemplated this approach for the bench I’ve been sketching this summer (which is on hiatus right now as I build a stable door and finish “Woodworking in Estonia”).

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Also nice is the more conventional bench from Jean Touret (who headed Atelier Marolles). Check out how the seat is saddled – it curves only in one direction (front to back). That’s something that can be done with a jack plane or a large round plane and is explained in “The Anarchist’s Design Book.

Both of these benches have a surface treatment that is hand-carved.

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The last pieces are a pair of chairs from the Marolles workshop, also under the direction of Touret. These are a traditional form that is very common in the Germanic countries. The cross-battens allow you to use a thinner seat without sacrificing strength in the leg joints.

Check out other pieces from Touret here.

— Christopher Schwarz

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13 Responses to Fantastic Mid-Century Seating in the Vein of ‘The Anarchist’s Design Book’

  1. Rachael Boyd says:

    I need to make the chairs love the look

  2. Niels Cosman says:

    Oh myyyy, the surface texture of the Jean Touret bench cross rail! Sex on stakes!
    ….Going to have to appropriate that.

  3. Bob Jones says:

    I see my next target for copy. Those chairs!

  4. I’m glad you posted these for wider appreciation. When I saw the forum post, I think I spent half an hour just looking at pictures of the “four seat” bench.

  5. Would love to see your rendition of the stable doors you mentioned.

  6. abtuser says:

    That Jean Touret search link is just awesome. And yea, those chairs would be nice to make.

  7. jglen490 says:

    In form, those benches and the pair of chairs are stunning. It just seems that in function, there may be some issues. The backs of the benches seem awfully uncomfortable when leaning back into them. And the chairs – nothing worse than bumps, unless they’re covered with chair pads. Maybe, I’m not seeing these things right, perhaps the pictures don’t convey the true look, but they just look uncomfortable!

  8. wadeholloway says:

    I have found some additional pictures of the 4 seat bench which I really really like. It seems that the back is held on by some type of U bolt, but there are holes in front for any bolts. Does anyone have any idea of what king of U bolt this is or how the backs are fastened. I am really thinking about trying a bench like this.

    • jglen490 says:

      Maybe oversized staples? Can’t quite see the underside of the metal connector, so there may be something more conventional like nails or screws …

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