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|REVISION CARDS - MICHAEL THONET - THE No14 CHAIR|
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MICHAEL THONET - (1796-1871)
He was a designer specialising in ‘bentwood’ furniture, manufactured from veneers of natural woods, normally beech, which were softened by steam.
His chair designs contrasted with the hand crafted chairs of the day. His No 14 Chair was the first chair to be mass produced in thousands, on a production line.
THE No 14 CHAIR
The No 14 chair was manufactured as separate parts and simply screwed together (six ‘steam bent’ wood parts, ten screws and two nuts). This construction technique was a precursor to the way furniture is constructed in our modern world, as flat packs. This meant that thirty six completed but disassembled chairs, could be packaged safely, in a one cubic metre ‘sea crate’, for transport around the world.
The No14 Chair was composed of solid beech, not veneers. Thonet had perfected steaming solid wood and bending it to form unusual shapes.
THE THONET PHILOSOPHY
The Arts and Crafts Movement of the 19th Century believed in the manufacture of hand crafted products, made by craftsmen, often as single items / one offs.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THONET CHAIRS / FURNITURE
1. Innovative design and construction,
2. Steam bentwood parts, considerably reduce construction time,
3. Simple jointing techniques (mainly screws),
4. Simple but elegant design,
5. Designed so that a minimum number of parts are needed. Absolute minimum waste of materials,
6. Designed with distribution to retailer in mind,
7. Easy to assemble,
8. Quality materials used.
|1. What type of product did Michael Thonet design and manufacture? 2 marks|
|2. The Thonet No14 Chair was supplied in disassembled form (in parts). What was the advantage of this approach ? 2 marks|
|3. How did the philosophy of the Thonet Company differ from that of the Arts and Crafts Movement ? 3 marks|
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