The Leaf Collection, which was unveiled during last year’s Salone del Mobile, is made up of a chair, a barstool and a table with either a rectangular or a rounded top.
Eggs Designs Studio, which was founded by Gaia Giotti and Giona Scarselli, wanted to reference nature when designing the collection, which is made using TON’s wood-bending technology.
For the chair, the supporting frame is made from solid wood intended to resemble tree trunks, while the seat and backrest are constructed from moulded plywood, described as petal-like by the designers.
“When designing, we primarily considered products that would be lightweight, rational, and – at the same time – would address the issue of TON and its connection with nature,” explained Gaia Giotti.
“For us, a rational product is one that correctly balances between the inspiration and the actual production processes.”
The Leaf barstool is a similar shape to the chairs, but features corners that bend down around the chair legs, instead of folding upwards into the backrest.
The rear legs are formed using TON’s manual wood-bending technologies, which have been used by the brand since 1861.
This bending process involves steaming squared lengths of wood in special vats for several hours, before placing the softened wood into metal forms.
A flange is then attached to place pressure on the wood so it takes the shape of the mould while it cools. Bent sections are afterwards dried and air-conditioned for several weeks, then finished with oil, stain or lacquer.
The technique was developed in 1856 by Michael Thonet, who used it to create the No 14 chair – still a staple in cafes worldwide.
“The Leaf Collection contains a number of elements that emerged directly from the production process conditions, for instance, by using the same type of moulded seat for the chair and barstool,” said the designers.
The table is available in either a rectangular or a round shape, and features rounded details on the upper leg endings. A curved indent create the illusion that the legs are detached from the tabletop.
During the development process, the team tested the ergonomics and construction strength by applying a weight of 130 kilograms in a cycle of nearly half a million simulated sitting-down actions.