The Rietveld Red Blue chair reproduction is complete. Looking good in the clients mid-century home.
The project to construct a copy of the Rietveld Red Blue chair is completed and now its time for the painting. It was important to obtain the precise colours to finish off this reproduction chair, the red back is Vermillion, the blue seat Ultramarine and the yellow end grain is Cadmium Yellow.
Of course this is the later version of the chair. The original version was designed and made around 1918 but the famiar, iconic colour version is from 1923 .
Our small project to construct the Rietveld Red Blue chair is completed apart from the painting. What fun!
This project was a discussion about paired back design; resisting all superfluous elements in design and architecture was Rietvelds ethos and MO. The restraint in this chair design is exercised to facilitate possible mass production but also to achieve maximum visual impact, the chair is visually arresting from all angles and I cannot remember working on a chair design with so much negative space!
The chair is now jointed and glued up. It looks and feels very stable and solid, the low centre of gravity of the frame is more pronouced without the seat and backrest.
Reitvelds ideas for the Red Blue chair, as with much of the early furniture design, centred around contemporary techniques and technology. It is in this spirit that we elected to use a Festool Domino and its accompanying dowels rather than the round dowels specified in the original making notes.
Unique to this project, the customer has requested to participate in its making. In this film he is concentrating and keen to show me that he has listened to my instructions but has been fairly giddy all day.
He has so far been invaluable, sizing components, painstakingly marking out the dowel positions and even helped with the jointing machine. I may even persuade him to paint it!
The first project of the year is a reproduction of the Gerrit Reitveld Red Blue cahir from the 1920s. Reitveld first designed the chair in the early 1920s and it was left in its natiral colour or painted black. The familiar chair with the red blue and yellow was made in 1927.
The picture above shows Reitveld outside his workshop in Utrecht in the early 1920s, sitting in an early version of the chair. Reitveld was a hands on maker, prefering to design as he made, and was every bit the artisan that his cabinet maker father was.