A hundred years since the birth of Tapio Wirkkala (1915-1985), an important figure in Finnish art and design, Poltrona Frau revisits a piece of which, until now, only a handful of examples existed. The “Bird” side table is a project that symbolises Wirkkala’s natural and organic poetry. A sinuous shape, at the same time simple yet abstract, the piece is inspired by the silhouette of a bird, a recurring theme in Wirkkala’s work as a sculptor and designer, along with shells, ice and leaves.
For the first time, Poltrona Frau has mass-produced the side table and faced a real manufacturing challenge in doing so. The workmanship on the surface is highly complex. The strata of layers of cut birch wood of varying thicknesses create a characteristic symmetrical and diagonal surface design. The result is unpredictable, making each piece unique.
The delicate furniture craftsmanship is completed with the conical insert of cut birch that runs though the centre along the entire length of the top. This feature, painted black, creates an incisive graphic symbol that continues in the curved solid birch leg, an elegant visual reference to the beak of a wading bird. The second leg is made out of black-painted solid birch wood and further defines the bird’s shape. The natural oil and wax-based surface finish is organic and transparent, enhancing the beauty of the wood.