This is one of those series I had good intentions for but that kinda fell by the wayside over the Spring and Summer. Well, not anymore! It’s back – ‘Your Home Needs This’ is all about profiling beautiful design objects and pieces of furniture that I feel everyone should have in their home. From Vitra’s handy toolbox and Alvar Aalto’s stackable stool to Saarinen’s tulip table and Thonet’s bentwood chairs, I want to look back at classics that are timeless regardless of passing trends. You know, those designs that are built to last, that you’ll pass down from generation to generation. And as with a lot of classics, they’ve been copied to death over the years, so I want to bring the focus back on the designer and give you a little back story about how they were created.
This time it’s the turn of Hans J. Wegner’s CH24, otherwise known as the Wishbone Chair. Created for Carl Hansen & Son in 1950, the Wishbone Chair has a lovely, sculptural silhouette, with a sweeping, rounded back and handwoven seat. It’s been continuously in production for well over 60 years and it’s not hard to see why. The handcrafted design captures the essence of modern Scandinavian design, while fulfilling all the functional demands of a comfortable chair that supports the back.
The design was the last part of Wegner’s series inspired by portraits of Danish merchants sitting in Chinese Ming Dynasty Chairs. For the Wishbone Chair, the Danish designer combined the top rail and arms into a single, steam-bent curve, and supported it with the characteristic Y-shaped back. Wegner was so meticulous about his design that he moved in with the Hansen family on the Danish island of Funen to monitor every step of the making process.
A Wishbone Chair is made up of 14 parts, that take about 3 weeks to carefully prepare and assemble. There are a 100 production steps done by hand, from steam-shaping the back to hand-weaving a firm seat using 120m of paper cord.
Can you believe they can weave that seat in just an hour? That’s some skill…
Today, the Wishbone Chair comes in 25 colour-lacquered finishes as well as the more natural ash, beech, oak, smoked oak, walnut and cherry wood. The colours were first launched by Carl Hansen & Son in 2010 to celebrate the iconic design turning 60, with more hues added last year to appeal to a new generation of Wishbone Chair owners.
I love the classic wood design and the sleek black version above, but for those more adventurous, there’s bold vibrant hues such as turquoise blue and orange-red that would provide a pop of colour to any dining table.
We’re just in the process of renovating our home and my attention keeps wandering from things like schedules of work and structural engineers to the beautiful finishing touches. I really want to choose our new purchases with care – picking items that are built to last and that we can live with everyday and not tire of. The Wishbone Chair is a perfect example, its a pure and simple design that is grounded in comfort and stability.
What do you think of the Wishbone Chair, can you see it in your own home?
All images: Carl Hansen & Son