Joaquim Tenreiro, Brazil, circa 1947
Cadeira de Três Pés (Three-legged chair) made with Rosewood, Imbuia, Ivorywood, Roxigno, and Amendoim, bonded laminated frame with solid lathed joints and legs. Designed by Joaquim Tenreiro, Brazil, circa 1947.
A feat of craftsmanship, Joaquim Tenreiro's three-legged chair bears the hallmarks of his modernist approach to form and strict material principles. The model was constructed in variants with two, three, four, and five different kinds of wood, which required a deep knowledge of craftsmanship and intimacy with the way different species behave
under varying environmental and technical circumstances. What differentiates Tenreiro from many of his contemporaries is that he was both a designer and a master craftsman. Because he was a designer, Tenreiro understood the history of the field. The shape of this chair references an art deco slipper chair, while the vertical lines going upward evoke such movement that one even thinks of streamlining. At the same time, the carving of the chair creates perfect ergonomics while also pushing materials to their limits, something only a true maker could achieve.