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personal work

material : beech wood

In an age when globalization has accelerated the exchange of people and things, leading to the homogenization of everything, I wondered if it was possible to create furniture that forms naturally and slowly, much like the evolution of organisms or the passing down of stories.

The development of this chair was sparked by my curiosity about the Jimmy Possum chair, which was made in Northern Tasmania in Australia from the late 19th to the early 20th century.

What fascinates me most about the Possum chair is that the identity of the original creator is still unclear. It is said that a man named Jimmy Possum started making these chairs and they gradually spread throughout Northern Tasmania, a tale akin to an old legend. All that remains today is this tale and a portrait of a man believed to be Jimmy Possum, painted in the first half of the 20th century, which continues to be passed down through the generations.

Looking at the original chairs, they were crafted from solid wood using hand tools like drawknives and axes, without special machinery. The legs, rising from the floor through the seat to support the armrests, is a distinctive feature. It's also designed so that when sat upon, the legs and seat join more firmly, revealing it to be a chair made rationally with only the most necessary tools and materials.

I imagined how this chair would have evolved as a piece of modern furniture if its lore had spread beyond Tasmania to neighboring regions and Asia. Paying homage to its history, I attempted a redesign suitable for contemporary furniture. The wood I chose is domestically produced beech, known for its workability and suitable flexibility. The legs and back spokes were made using a wood lathe, while the seat, armrests, and back were mostly shaped using hand tools like spokeshaves and drawknives. Maintaining the original features of the Possum chair, including the
relationship between the arms, seat, and legs, and its main structure, I aimed to improve comfort by finishing the backrest and seat with organic forms.


この椅子は、19 世紀の後半から20 世紀初頭にかけてオーストラリアのタスマニア北部で作られていたジミー・ポッサムチェアへの私自身の知的好奇心がきっかけとり開発を始めた。

ポッサムチェアの最も興味深い点はオリジナルの作者が未だに誰なのかはっきりせず、大木の洞に住むジミー・ポッサムという男がこの椅子を作りはじめ、その製法がタスマニアの北部でしだいに広まっていったという昔話と、20 世紀前半にとある画家が描いたジミーポッサムとされる一枚の肖像画だけが今も残っており現代に語り継がれている点である。



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