Hand made from solid pieces of wood, free-cut following the natural grain, made one by one, the stools of Fritz Baumann are the kind of objects that remind us of the sheer beauty that exists in nature.
From forest to studio, Fritz Baumann creates these sculpture-like seats in stages, working first from large green pieces of wood, processed on the spot with a chainsaw, then cut and chiselled into simple bridged forms, then comes the drying process; a long phase in which the wood loses its tension, possibly tears, settles into its new form. Finally, comes the more delicate work – the careful planeing and sanding of the seat until it is ‘smooth as glass’ and the filling in of drying cracks with a pen. Wherever the wood has split is joined in but made visible to honour the ‘blemish’, reminiscent of the Japanese aesthetic wabi, which sees beauty in imperfection.
And it is no doubt this entire process, labour-intensive and full of passion, that makes these stools so appealing in their final form. Through each phase, both human and nature play an equal part, and as a result no stool is quite like any other. While they all possess a real sense of strength and durability, a combination of smoothness and texture, the human touch, there are never-ending variations – in colour and form, size and finish, and each one looks as though it has its own story. Which, in fact, it does.