Aylin Kayser (born 1982): I seem predestined to collect chairs. I never consciously searched for them, rather they found me again and again. Special chairs that regularly put me under pressure to cross the boundaries of my minimalist style of furnishing for my passion for collecting. I would like to introduce one of these chairs here... It was love at first sight - the formal elegance, the consistent reduction, the timeless sensuality, the visionary approach that this chair embodies... I still find myself stroking over the smooth, sleek wooden surface and imagining where this chair from around 1880 might have stood everywhere. I found it on one of my forays through the attic of my grandparents' old timbered house in Munich. My grandfather collected everything he got his hands on. Therefore the attic was always filled up to the ceiling with finds of all style epochs. Already when opening the door to the attic my adrenalin level/pulse increased noticeably every time. When I found this Thonet chair in a hidden corner, I could hardly believe my luck. I then spent the rest of my vacation in the workshop: carefully removed the white paint, disposed of the broken seat mesh, sanded it by hand with sandpaper for hours, sat with it in the sauna to kill the woodworms and sprayed wood glue with the finest syringes into the holes.
On my departure I enthusiastically presented him to my uncle, who looked astonished and said that it was his and that he had found it in New York at the flea market. Luckily, he gave it to me - with the condition of giving him a new cane netting and not giving it away. Back in Berlin, the first thing I did was to enrol in a course for restorers and painstakingly renew the seat mesh by hand. My chair is the bentwood chair no. 18 of the company Thonet. It goes back to a design by the pioneer of furniture production and design Michael Thonet. For his "Konsumstühle" (consumer chairs) in the middle of the 19th century he developed a special method of bending brittle wood in cast iron moulds using heat. This innovative process combined with a sophisticated modular principle - the chair could be transported in a flat box disassembled into its individual parts - revolutionized the furniture trade and was one of the first industrially produced chairs.
The Viennese coffee house chair No. 14 from Tonet, on which the No. 18 is based, has achieved world fame, was the best-selling seating in the world until 1930 with 50 million units and even made it to Joseph Paxton's Crystal Palace (World Exposition 1851 in London). In Frankenberg in Hesse, Thonet furniture is still being produced today.