Compositions made of antlers
This time the Chinese have ordered chairs from Reinhard Deyerl. „The Chinese“ – this is a hotel in Peking for which the craftsman has composed his show-piece: a ten metre long, almost six metre wide chandelier. Not an ordinary one, of course, but an oval made of 400 deer antlers weighing over a ton. Suspended at a height of 20 metres, it causes astonished faces in the Middle Kingdom and provides ongoing fresh orders from Peking for the Chiemgauer, who has recently moved from the western to the eastern bank of the Chiemsee to Grabenstätt with bag and luggage. Bag and luggage, this means in particular antlers, horn and bones by the ton – the raw materials, from which Deyerl creates „beautiful and wild“, as the label describes itself on the reverse for all furniture and living space accessories.
An entire range of seating furniture is already in the studio, alternating between comfort and threat. Is that the throne of an ancient forest king, you ask yourself, or the television chair of a narcissistic contemporary Bavarian? In any case, the constructs should be literally occupied. „I don’t construct any exhibits, but real functional furniture,“ emphasises Reinhard Deyerl. Before Chinese business people can sit down on the new chairs, Deyerl twists and turns the previously carefully selected antlers again and again, holds them on the seat and tries to slide two into another. The development of his pieces is also a puzzle. Then everything should finally appear as naturally grown together. The weight should only burden the antlers without additional supports; where there was peaked chaos, „symmetry and harmony“ should prevail. And that can take time. He mills and grinds again and again until antlers and wood are perfectly joined and in equilibrium. Sometimes, it is precision work! He later fills and paints over the points where he had to drill dents for screws. His work must not leave any traces.
Reinhard Deyerl grew up in Lower Bavaria. As a boy he strolled through the dark expanses of the Bavarian Forest and brought home so many finds of bones that his father often shook his head because of the morbid shelf jewellery. However, the work of an adult has nothing in common with the hereafter. First, he abhors the profane trophy jewellery; second, Deyerl processed shed antlers without exception. Such a deer antler is known to serve as a temporary crown. A new one grows for the king of the forest every year after he loses the old one in the spring. The trained cook who was appointed late as an antler designer therefore remained a collector, even though he now goes with huntsmen and breeders to the „stalk“ without ammunition.
In the new premises, customers can stalk the Deyerl objects better. Head-high lamps, lively mirrors framed with horn, tables with an archaic and elegant appearance and everything of an almost dancing liveliness and vigour, although the material is dead and heavy. Where does the fifty year old get his inspiration? Reinhard Deyerl shrugs his shoulders. He might find ideas in nature when mountain biking or paragliding, but the muse’s kiss comes rather unexpectedly. When he is filing a new delivery, grinding an antler or simply looking at the large equipment, which is stored right behind the exhibition room. Proper exotic pieces include for example the cranial bone of a whale or a 35 000 year old bison skull. Accordingly, he does not yet know what he will create next. „But I have the feeling as if horn is next“, he says and disappears in his sharp-edged jungle…
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