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Sitting on green gold - chairs from finland

02.03 - 20.04.2006

In Finland, wood has always been used in many different ways. The Finns are used to searching the forest for all kinds of building materials, foods and medicines. This close relationship with the forest has come about naturally; over 70% of Finland’s land area is covered by forest. Many people gain their livelihood from the forest as well as deriving spiritual nourishment, energy and inspiration from it. Skills in handling wood and a feeling for raw materials have been of vital importance to the Finns. Inventions, repairs and adaptations were first made in wood and only subsequently in other materials.

The familiarity and availability of the raw material have led people to reach out for wood and use it. Influences from abroad have first been sifted through wooden sieves and always interpreted first with local materials. At the exhibition of the Craft Museum of Finland, the viewer can take a look at wooden chairs from the nineteenth century onwards.

The collection tells us something about the relationship between people and wood and the changes that have taken place in this relationship. Influences that have come from abroad can be seen in the chairs, but behind them there is a strong Finnish quality. Chairs are traditionally made of wood and are a product that is familiar and approachable for western cultures. Amongst them there are archetypal chairs made by unknown makers, classics designed by stars of the design world and fresh ideas from new makers too.