In the case of Dutch design studio Reinier de Jong's new chair Steel, the clue is most definitely not in the name. Launching at imm Cologne this week, de Jong's chair is in fact made of recycled wooden handles taken from brooms, rakes and shovels.
Steel is a sustainably sourced chair that has a simple yet refined shape which reflects the everyday nature of its original components.
If you look closely at the wooden handles that make up the frame of this elegant folding chair, you will see traces of their former use. The color and texture of the wood deepens, depending on how much and where the tool was used. Made by craftsmen in the Netherlands, the chair gives the wood a third life after it has been taken from its original tree and turned into a tool handle. Another version with new, white handles is also available.
Each Steel chair is made from different types of wood depending on availability, woods include ramin, beech and ash. The weathered wood has been cut away to reveal new, clean wood that forms a natural, concave shape for the seat and back rest.
Reiner de Jong also accepts donations of wood from the public. Old wooden handles from brooms, rakes, shovels, flagpoles, banisters etc are all accepted as long as they are 28 or 29 mm in diameter. For each usable meter of old handles 1 euro will be donated to charity. Alternatively customers can donate handles to have them turned into their own customized chair design. One chair contains approximately 10 meter of handles.
Reinier de Jong is exhibiting at stand number 080 in exhibition hall 3.1 (aisle C) at imm Cologne until 20th January 2013.
About the designer: Reinier de Jong is a Dutch designer and architect who produces contemporary handmade furniture. The studio works with a number of skillful and reliable craftsmen based in the Netherlands to produce sustainable designs with a focus on materiality.