Wood is such a friendly and beautiful material. And if a piece of wood shows scratches, dents and other marks, it’s even better. One of the things I like is when there are old colorful paint layers that are still partly visible. It gives so much character. Like for instance scrap wood that is used to make upcycle design furniture, or wood from old fishing boats in Africa.
But there’s another source for wood with marks and sometimes paint layers. I’m talking about a barrique, a barrel that has long been used as container in which wine is aged.
Barrique proofs old age has character
And these barrique barrels are used for upcycling by several designers. I’ll just mention two fantastic upcycle design companies that you can find on upcycleDZINE: San Patrignano and Balk en Plank. Both create amazing furniture, but have their own style. And now on to another designer that uses barrique barrels and creates a whole different furniture collection.
It’s German designer Magnus Mewes, based in Neustadt-Duttweiler | Germany. Magnus is a designer who creates stools, chairs and tables. Because this collection is made out of these famous barrique barrels, every furniture piece is unique and has a history. Wood that is used for making these barrels is often from oak, 200 years old before they are felled. And what I like about his collection is that it not only uses wine barrels but also whisky barrels with their amazing graphics.
Each barrique barrel, gives the wine a unique flavor. Barrels lose flavor strength after being used several times. That’s why they get usually replaced with new barrels. Old oak are often still used for the storage of whiskey. ‘Barrique’ refers to a specific size and shape of oak barrel. There are different sizes of barrels. Barriques are also known as Bordeaux barrels, because their shape and size was designed and developed in Bordeaux. Barriques are relatively tall and have a capacity of 225 liters (59 gallons).
A barrique is filled four times with red wine before they are disused. 204 years later, Mewes’ unique barrique furniture finally sees the light of day.
According to Handmade on Tour: “On his wife Carolin Bergdolt’s vineyard, Mewes helped to store disused barrique barrels. There came the idea for the first barrique chair: the barrel staves had the ideal ergonomic form for seating surfaces and chair arms. Meanwhile, there are over 20 sorts of furniture, from children’s chairs and tables to chopping blocks. The classic barrique chair is the ‘Barrique Limited’, 100% made from used barriques (225 litre barrels). The chair is built like a barrel. The coincidentally ergonomic form is an optimal seating and back surface, giving the comfort of a molded wooden shell. The sides are made from recycled barrel bases – a natural red wine colouring can be seen here, from shades of brown to deep red.’
Design by Magnus Mewes