Under the spotlight – making mid-century style legs.
A tropical garden grows at the front of the workshop with big trees and awnings to provide shade from the extraordinary Vietnamese heat. Inside, planks of oak sit on a carpet of sawdust, waiting to be made into legs for our Mimi sofas, armchairs, ottomans and pouffes. “The best quality wood is marked red,” our artisan tells us. “This is the best timber, and the timber we use for your legs.”
Artisans cut the wood to size and laminate the planks – a fusion process necessary for creating blocks thick enough for a leg to be carved out of. Our carpenter fixes a block onto a lathe and starts the spinning. Chips and sawdust fly off in all directions and the shape of the leg, tapered in the mid-century modern style, begins to emerge.
The legs are then sanded on a belt sander to achieve an overall smoothness before their tops are cut on a slant for that iconic Fifties angled element. A basket of these smooth angled pieces sits beside one of our artisans. Holding a single leg in her hand, she works a piece of sandpaper over it. “This is to make sure there are absolutely no blemishes,” she tells us. “We sand them by hand until they’re flawless.”
Placed on a simple wooden tool that does the job of a protractor, the legs are checked to ensure the angle is precise. Taking one, an artisan measures the angle. Seemingly pleased, he drills a metal disk onto the base of the leg that will in turn be fixed to the base of a selected Mimi. Placing it down on the workbench he absently mutters – “perfect.” And then moves onto the next.
Take a closer look at our Mimi collection