When I founded my workshop and gallery STŌL in 2019 I wanted to break with the separation of fine and applied arts and think the combination of art, craft, design, function and life in a new way and develop it further.
During my studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna I focused on wood sculpture and wood restoration. When I discovered the tradition of the Welsh Stick Chair and Captain Chair, I was imediately captured by their construction and simple beauty. Making chairs out of solid wood and using hand tools gives them a special character and fascination that cannot be compared with industrial produced furniture.
In my work I move fluently between the design of furniture, sculpture, photography and applied arts. A special focus lies on the design and manufacture of chairs. Chairs have an ever lasting charm for designers. Perhaps because of their anthropomporphic kinship with humans. For me designing and making furniture is a form of constructive wood sculpture. The design process is a dialog between the body of the woodworker and the wood. I see sculpture - and art in general - as a part of our lifes.
The furniture I makes derives from the idea of the stool - hence the name STŌL for my workshop and gallery in Vienna.
All furniture is made using traditional hand tools. Special attention is paid to the comfort and ergonomics of the seating furniture.
Sustainability and kinship
As humans we are part of a big whole which we call earth or world. Our kinship is not only between us humans, but also between other creatures, plants, animals and this earth on which we live. Therefore, it is our responsibility to move respectfully and carefully in this relationship. The use of wood from fair and sustainable production, the resource-saving handling of this material and energy sources such as electricity, is therefore of utmost importance to me. I use only hand tools for the production of my furniture. The joints are made of wood. My furniture is oiled with oils that do not contain additives. Colors such as oil paint or milk paint I produce myselve, as well as stains. I use organic glue instead of plastic glues. The handling of the raw material wood is as resource-saving as possible. Nothing is thrown away - even the smallest remnant of wood is still used in my workshop, for example, as kindling for the wood stove.
The fascination for constructive wood sculpting captured me very early. My first building was a tent-shaped wooden hut, consisting of wooden shingles, built around a large spruce trunk. This was followed by small buildings, furniture and other articles of daily use. The human-like shape of the chair, its sculptural and performative possibilities began to occupy me more and more. Some years ago I decided to put my artistic emphasis on the chair as a form for my artistic expression. Since then, more and more sculptures in the shape of armchairs and stools have been made of solid wood. Each chair is a joyful celebration of functional sculpture, which finds its completion in the use by man (or cat). I share my passion for sculptural art by teaching at the Kunst VHS and Sigmund Freud Private University.
It has been proven that the interaction of hand and brain increases the ability to think, yet there is hardly anyone who writes anything by hand. I, for example, still write by hand, because otherwise I cannot recognize my music [...] Handwriting has disappeared from everyday life. It's a pity, because little else says so much about a person and leaves behind traces of contemporary witness.
Es ist erwiesen, dass das Zusammenwirken von Hand und Hirn das Denkvermögen steigert, dennoch gibt es kaum noch jemanden, der irgendetwas mit der Hand schreibt. Ich z.B. notiere noch immer per Hand, denn sonst erkenne ich meine Musik nicht [...] Die Hand schrift ist aus dem Alltag verschwunden. Schade, denn wenig sonst sagt so viel über einen Menschen aus und hinterlässt Spuren von Zeitzeugenschaft.
I work the wood exclusively by hand. Because of the use of hand tools I am close to the wood. This gives my body the opportunity to participate in the shaping
process and the surface design. The body communicates with the wood. The body inscribes itself into the wood. Vojtěch Volavka calls this process sculptural handwriting. This is how unique pieces are created. Pieces that are mor like individuals who get involved with their
Studies of object sculpture with Julian Göthe and Pawel Althamer and contextual painting with Ashley Hans Scheirl at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, as well as wood restoration. Degree: Mag. art.
Studies of philosophy and psychology at the Paris Lodron University Salzburg. Degree: Mag. phil.
I make body and spatial art. For example, I modify a house that is over 100 years old - with my body, by hand, without the use of electrically supported tools or machines. This physical way of working is about the body inscribing itself into the interior design, as abruptly as possible. The body writes itself into the material through its physical and mental movements. The body is involved in the process of shaping and surface design, the body's reflections are reflected in the shaped material, in the lived space.
This sculptural work also has a performative character, regardless of whether it is bound to the space or - in the sense of the german word origin of „Möbel“(furniture) is mobile, because only when one or more people perform with the works are they complete. All my works come from the body and are made for the body/bodies. Only through their use, in conversation, in being together with bodies, the artistic works become whole.
My work - in the sense of Aristotle - is about a poetry of the body, which finds its application in interior design (bound to the room e.g. wall drawing or mobile e.g. sound bodies), Nazi history (e.g. Fathomizing Memory) and the body's confrontation with its environment (e.g. Wildes Fleisch).
Most frequently used techniques: Wood and stone sculpture, photography, audio and video art, writing, performance.
Related bodies: George Nakashima, walking artists, Elisabeth von Samsonow, Jean Touret, Gregor Eichinger, Maria Lassnig, Wille Sundqvist, David Pye, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Roland Barthes, Ingeborg Bachmann, Elfriede Jelinek, Olga Neuwirth, Ashley Hans Scheirl.
Artistic duo VN Jaeger & Schwarzwald with Helga Em Schwarzwald - partner and counter spirit.
Visit studio STŌL
Please make an appointment
Neustiftgasse 48 Corner Neubaugasse, 1070 Vienna.