How, then, has Finnish furniture developed since the introduction of the Alvar Aalto's bentwood furniture
? We might cite, for example, the plywood chair, "Domus", designed by Tapiovaara, which has been marketed since the 1940s in Great Britain under the name "Stax" and in the USA as the "Finnchair" (image 41).
During the 17th century, beech was known as a "poor man's walnut or mahogany" and suitably stained according to writer Jane Struthers in the book "Decorating With Wood." Beech, like ash, gained respect with the development of bentwood furniture
. Beech is well-suited to bending and steaming and was used in bentwood chair designs, rockers and anything that required a curved piece.
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, held a major retrospective exhibition, "The Architecture of Frank Gehry," in 1986, and the Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts exhibited his bentwood furniture
in the early 1990s.
Windsor chairmakers were bending wood in the 1700s, but not until Michael Thonet perfected the method about 1840 was mass-production of bentwood furniture
His idea for flexible bentwood furniture
was impossible, he was told.