IRIS, Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1899)

The exhibition pavilion of Finland in the World Fair of 1900 in Paris was designed by the trio of architects Gesellius-Lindgren-Saarinen. The interior of the so called Iris-room was designed by Akseli Gallen-Kallela. This room was later to become the foundation for the Finnish Jugend-style as well as the modern Finnish furniture design. In the Iris-stool Akseli Gallen-Kallela wanted to test alternative stool-leg designs and ornamentation which was repeated in the textiles of the Finnish pavilion at the World Fair.

Width  35 cm, depth  23 cm, height  21 cm

How the new Iris-stool is made

The new ornamented Iris-chair is made by carpenter Kari Wager from Ylöjärvi. From early on it was clear that he would use the same high-quality Finnish pinewood as Akseli Gallen-Kallela. Wager has done his best to realize Gallen-Kallela’s design. Even Gallen-Kallela’s ornaments, the abstract decorative motifs, are hand-painted. The most problematic parts in the stool were its historically significant elements i.e. the four short legs. In the model for the production all the legs are identical unlike in the original stool where they differed slightly from each other. After much experimentation the carpenter decided to opt for a leg that represents best the legs in the furniture in the Iris-room. Each Iris-stool looks now as individual as the original one but the proportions of the furniture are the same. The stool carries a metal plate with an engraved sign used by Akseli Gallen-Kallela and his signature.

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