An unusual furniture collection has been listed on JamesEdition. We’re talking chairs made from gold-plated metal, hand-woven fabrics from Venice and original AK-47 assault rifle parts. Surprised? We, too, were very intrigued. Designer Rainer Weber describes how he got the idea for the furniture collection which features chair legs, backs and armrests made from machine gun parts and why he chose Art not War as its slogan.
Rainer, the first question is a bit emotional… Chairs made from machine guns? Really?
Yes, this collection has quite a brutal look. But on the other hand, I want to show another side of assault weapons; I want to showcase them as art objects. Hence the title for my collection – Art not War. Each chair is a single piece and numbered. The chairs are composed of genuine, formally still in service Kalashnikovs.
Do you think that a Kalashnikov may be considered as an art object?
The AK-47 is present everywhere. No weapon has polarized people more. There are clubs named after it, its image has been printed on T-shirts, a punk band has named itself after it, there are AK-47-shaped ice cubes, ballpoint pens and much more. The AK-47 is so widely represented in popular culture that it has definitely become a cult object.
How did you get the idea of creating furniture pieces using the weapon?
It happened a few years ago. Designing these chairs required much passion, patience and devotion. I did my initial research online, read up on the subject and bought its creator’s biography. Since I have always been inspired by design, art and furniture of any kind, for many years making something from a Kalashnikov was an idea in my head.
Where do you source the parts from?
First of all, all of the six AK-47 chairs have a serial number and a certificate of demilitarization, which will be handed to the buyer of the chair. I do not want to give too many details about the source, but I bought the weapons from a renowned company in Austria.
What about the fabric and other materials?
The fabrics are hand-woven in Venice and London. All leather work has been made by renowned saddler master from Vienna. Some details are gold-plated. For examples, the AK47Chair gold N1 on JamesEdition.com is gilded with 23 carat gold.
Did you work with a furniture designer to create these chairs?
No, I worked alone. The idea and the design are all mine.
Can the chairs be considered as an investment, given the exclusivity of materials used?
Of course! These are limited-edition chairs, they are numbered and design-protected.
Who are your buyers?
It is difficult to determine the potential buyer target group. For sure this furniture may be of interest to those who appreciate exclusivity and exceptional design and uniqueness. And who want to buy a special piece for their collection.
Shop this collection: AK 47 Chair No.1