The Wood Whisperer
He is first and foremost an artist, and a pretty good one. But he is also gifted with a skill set of a carpenter and a designer and he has been slowly carving his way into people’s homes, year by year, piece by piece, chair by chair.
His name is Daníel Magnússon and he has for many years been designing and making his furniture under the uncommon name of Hedoplast. This union of two Greek words, hedonism and plast, meaning something in the way of shape splendor, references the complex, orthodox structural system he uses when making the chairs. In time Daníel has constructed a whole family of chairs and stools, each with different names and looks. His latest, which he finished designing is called Pina Bausch, a homage to the great choreographer, a stool that obviously is in the same family as Lazy Girl, Buck Rogers, Squid, Crazy Cat and Samurai, just to name a few.
His chairs have become more than just any other furniture in people’s homes, maybe because they are in a way related to Daníel’s artwork and are by many considered more as small sculptures, than actual furniture. Some owners are of course more practical, so you can also find chairs by Daníel that have been used and moved around more times than anyone can count.
Daníel has already left a mark on many of Reykjavík’s restaurants, where his chairs seem to fit into almost any atmosphere. They do not shout out anything other than just quality of craftsmanship and original creative approach. At first when you notice them they may seem like a soft whisper, but after a period of observing them they become more of a statement, almost like some people you meet and you do not pay much attention at first, but end up becoming essential. That is kind of what happens with Daníel’s creations, and once you start having them around, you would not want any other furniture to fill up that space in your house.
So now you will have a small sneak peak into Daníel’s world. He is for obvious reasons just the right person to make a furniture piece that will last from one generation to another, but he is also the person to help solve a complicated math problem, as well as taking you out sailing and even fix the boat if it breaks down. He could easily knit you a sweater, or if you prefer socks, and do a brilliant stand up routine with some of his most famous stories. But just be careful to never call him a designer. You will learn that the hard way if you make that mistake once. For him there is no reason to start adding something to the list he thinks he does not deserve. But as someone with such a big army of silent admirers, he just might have to face the music one day and add designer to the list of his many skills. He would probably end up inventing a new word for it if necessary, but years of dedication just come to show, that in the end it is not about defining, but more about just walking the talk and leaving the rest up to fate.
For further information and images of Daníel’s work click here