This fall we focus on shedding light upon the great amount of work that goes into producing each and every piece of sculptural Finn Juhl furniture. We wish to keep arranging upholstery events to give our partners and customers first-hand experiences of how Finn Juhl’s sculptural furniture is upholstered by hand. Below you can see how the Pelican is being upholstered – this time in fluffy, sheepskin.
The Danish Upholstery Work
The upholstery of Finn Juhl furniture takes place in Denmark, it takes years of experience, great knowledge and last, but not least, undying patience. Working with furniture is a challenge, especially furniture as organic as Finn Juhl’s. Therefore, it is essential that the upholsterers have a deep understanding of the various materials’ strengths, but also their limitations. When we produce a piece of Finn Juhl furniture, we refuse to compromise, this is how we ensure that each piece of furniture lives up to our goal of delivering furniture of the highest quality.
From Fully-upholstered to Wooden Furniture
During his first years at the Cabinetmakers’ Guild Exhibition Finn Juhl primarily worked with fully upholstered furniture. Most famous from this period is, the iconic Pelican Chair from 1940. That is exactly why we picked the Pelican chair as the piece of furniture to be upholstered live in front of an audience at the event in Geneve.
If you know about Finn Juhl’s sculptural wooden furniture, it may seem odd that he actually started out working with fully upholstered furniture. If you are to believe Finn Juhl himself, this was due to the fact that he did not know much about furniture construction nor joinery. The upholstered furniture allowed Finn Juhl to focus entirely on the sculptural, organic shapes of his furniture, which later became a trademark of his. He referred to himself as self-taught within the field of furniture design as his formal education was within the field of architecture. With fully upholstered furniture he would ‘only’ have to focus on the exterior shape and let master joiner Niels Vodder work on the wooden skeleton.
In contrast to many of his peers Finn Juhl felt that modern furniture had to refer to the contemporary art of the time. The Pelican Chair is thus a perfect example of how Finn Juhl integrated the ideals of functionalism with the free art.
Finn Juhl described his thoughts on functionalism this way:
“If I have any idea about what I am doing, whatsoever, I may be able to express it in this way: It is so obvious that the furniture must be functional, if it is not, I am severely mistaken. To me, it seems obvious, that furniture must also possess artistic quality to make it exciting and merge it with its surroundings. Furniture has never been, nor will ever be designed just to be looked at, but has to be part of a functional interior that is necessary for people in their home, office and public spaces.”
Helsingborg Dagblad, April 3rd, 1965
La boutique danoise
If you find yourself in Geneva and are longing to see how Danish design is presented in a beautifully decorated store, then stop by La boutique danoise:
Avenue Pictet de Rochemont, 16
T: +41 (0)22 700 78 48