Sunday, April 8, 2012

Seating arrangements. An update.

As you may have read in a previous entry, I stumbled across a very cool mid-century chair at a thrift store in Greeley ( I reluctantly purchased the chair for 8.99, thinking at the time that the last thing I needed was another piece of furniture.

And like the folks on that Jersey Shore show, it's obvious that the chair had a few issues.

I found a chair rehab place close to home, Ackerman Brothers, and they got moving on turning back the clock on this cool chair.

They let me know the other day that the chair was ready. So like a new pet owner who goes to the pound to pick up their dog who had recently been "fixed", I went on Thursday to pick up my new old chair.

While I was waiting, I took a peek at my original receipt, and noticed I'd been dealing with Mike A. I have a friend whose name is Mike whose last name starts with an A, so I made a little small talk and asked a guy who worked there what Mike A.'s last name was, thinking maybe he and my friend share their last name, which is also my last name, which would just be a weird and cool coincidence. He told me Mike A.'s last name was Ackerman.

So all along this very complicit chair restoration process, I'd been dealing with one of the founding fathers. Or most likely brothers.

That's pretty cool.

Mike has been as invested in my chair, its origins and its story, just as much as I have.

He came out with the chair, and I was somewhat disappointed that it hadn't been woven with the black seat belt material I'd chosen.

But he had some of the material, and showed me how they intended to attach the weave. Their idea covered up the cool center openings on all four sides, which didn't seem like what the original designers of this chair had in mind. And frankly, once I saw the seat belt material on the newly refinished chair, it just looked wrong.

So Mike and I both decided to do a little research before going any further with the project. Once I got home, I found a chair online that mirrored my chair's design. I got an email from Mike just as I was sending an email to him with what I'd found, and we both had located fairly quickly what the chair originally looked like. And it's supposed to look like the chair on the right.

The chair was the brainchild of Danish designer Hans Wegner, and although it's considered the most famous piece of Danish furniture ever, signified to be the beginning of Denmark's international design breakthrough, Wegner prosaically called it "the round one."

In design circles, this has come to be known as The Chair.

So our conundrum about what those openings on all four sides were intended for was figured out. As we both suspected, they were there for a reason. I'm so glad we kept digging for information, because the folks at Ackerman Bros. were going to weave the seat belt material over those strips. It would have looked terrible.

But now a new dilemma had surfaced. Hand-weaving the "radio weave" design would cost a bit more money than the chunk I'd already set aside for the chair.

I thought about it for a while, and figured I'd be doing Mr. Wegner a disservice by messing around with the integrity of his original design.

So I'll have to make a few seating arrangements. But this whole experience speaks to why I enjoy thrifting as a verb.

The tripping across something tossed away that has so much history, the research, the discovery, the process, is worth every penny.

I had no idea that what I'd labored over justifying buying for 8.99 would turn out to be quite this interesting.

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