If our surviving old objects, pieces inherited or bought at a flea market could talk, what story would they tell?
Here, a hand-carved walnut armchair and stool set was to reanimate. Based on style cues, late 18th-century furniture with shiny satin upholstery, which was already ruined, so it wasn’t hard to say good-bye to it.
What story could these comfortable armchairs tell?
They probably belonged to the furnishings of a bourgeois house, where many guests were received and great social life took place. What was the conversation about in the gentlemen’s salons at the end of the 18th century? Freemasonry was certainly one of the many topics.
I chose this theme as the leitmotif for reviving the set.
The legend of the construction of the Temple of Solomon is important to the Masonic tradition, as the ceremonies and rituals still practiced at the gatherings of lodges are rooted in it. In the course of my research, I came across a version of the Adon-Hiram legend (from the pen of Prof. H. Wolff) from which the quote I used as a motive is derived. I embroidered this quote on the backs of the armchairs. At the time of the Adon-Hiram legend, ancient Greek was spoken there, so the embroidery was made in the original language. Its German translation can be read in digitally printed form on the textile covering the bottom of the armchair. The quote reads, “Heaven above, sky below, Stars above, stars below, As above, understand the magic of the One, and be your best self.” On the back of the chairs and on the stool I embroidered a geometric, Masonic symbol.
The embroidery was done with a digitally controlled embroidery machine. I chose anthracite wool velvet as the base material because it is soft and elegant and neutral enough to fit the renovated furniture into almost any interior.
I even made a book, or it can be called a photo album, with blank sheets, into which the fate of the furniture set can now be recorded.