Thonet and his Bentwood Revolution

Even German-Austrian cabinet maker Michael Thonet could not have fully known how his invention of bentwood furniture would revolutionize the way that craftsmen in many other areas would utilize this process. Although his stylish bentwood chair adorns the showrooms and living rooms, numerous others would find utility in the process he invented. For example, staircase banisters, canoes, musical instruments such as cellos and basket rims would all be impossible but for the process of bending wood. Thonet took a medium – wood – that was thought of as inflexible and made it pliable. But how is this process done? What turns a seemingly static object such as wood into a living thing that bends, winds, turns and is ready to conform to a number of applications?

The first key to steam bending wood comes in properly selecting the wood to be bent. Not all wood lends itself to bending. (Common softwoods for bending include: pine, fir, spruce, hemlock, cedar and redwood). Thonet discovered this after exhaustive experimentation with the medium. The wood is then soaked in water (or steamed). After that a steel mold is added to help shape the wood. Once it is malleable, it can be shaped into any design the maker chooses. The furniture we sell at Bauhaus2YourHouse is a tribute to the hard work of visionaries like Thonet. We also honor pieces such as modernist Le Corbusier’s chrome and leather masterpieces. His well known Corbusier chair is also an example of one man’s unconventional approach to design. So whether you desire one of Thonet’s bentwood chair or Corbusier modernist pieces, Bauhaus2YourHouse is the perfect resource for those of you who appreciate fine furniture.b2h_logo_110w