Owners Thomas Wüthrich and Yves Raschle
INCHfurniture was established in 2004 by Thomas Wüthrich and Yves Raschle. For some time already we are intensively occupied with the construction and design of furniture made of solid wood. During a longer working stay in Indonesia we got to know the technical school for wood processing. Right from the start we were convinced by the available know-how, the exemplarily managed school and the openness for inputs that we decided to collaborate with PIKA. In the meantime we maintain an intense personal contact with the school administration being far beyond a mere business relationship
We are devoted to wood, to design and to a different culture.When we say wood, we mean solid wood. When we talk of design, we also mean research. And speaking of different cultures, we speak of mutual exchange. INCHfurniture puts this attitude into practice: the production of our furniture is carried out by the fabrication workshop of an Indonesian vocational school for wood-work, utilising sustainably cultivated timber.
Wood is alive and a material prone to change. We always bear in mind the characteristics of wood during the construction and the preparation of the surface finish of our furniture. As a result, each piece of furniture is made to last and gains more character as it ages. Serial manufacturing methods can only be used restrictedly when assembling solid wood furniture, as every tree grows differently and has its own colour and grain.
Each single component is chosen to suit the constructional requirements and aesthetic demands. Much of the work must be done by hand, hence each piece of furniture is unique.
For all our furniture, we use teak. Teak is counted among the most high-grade kinds of wood. Teak has a striking aesthetic appearance and a fascinating tactile quality which make it stand out from other wood types: its lively texture, deep colour and its uniquely supple surface are legendary in furniture construction. Teak wood excels furthermore in excellent properties: high hardness and, compared to other kinds of timber, low shrinkage and warping. Also, teak features very good protective properties thanks to a high proportion of oleaginous resin. These characteristics make teak a valuable wood with high durability.
We obtain our timber from a select forestry enterprise near to our production site. This enterprise operates teak plantations according to sustainability standards, so that they will still be of use to subsequent generations. Every single log used in the manufacture of our furniture is chosen and assessed by a local specialist according to stringent criteria.
Our furniture is produced at the PIKA carpentry workshop in Indonesia. PIKA is based in the seaport of Semarang on the island of Java. The enterprise is structured according to a principle that is singular in Indonesia: the production workshop where the INCHfurniture items are created also trains apprentices. This firm is held in high esteem throughout Indonesia and is among the best schools of the country. Every year, around 75 apprentices are educated as carpenters, draughtsmen and furniture designers. PIKA operates on an advanced level, is headed by competent specialists and equipped with modern machinery. The furniture fittings and metal base parts are fabricated by ATMI, a mechanical engineering school in the town of Solo. ATMI’s organisation is modelled after PIKA’s.
In Indonesia, there are primary rain forests of enormous expanse. However, large parts of these forests have already disappeared due to ruthless clearing.Timber is very important as an export commodity for Indonesia and a vital resource for life there. If these clearings are not stopped, the country is heading for an economic and ecological catastrophe. Only a sustainable forestry that involves the local population can counteract this development. That’s why we believe the best preservation of tropical rainforest is its sustainable use.
In spite of heavy environmental damage, ecology has not yet become an issue in Indonesia. As a school, PIKA can act as a role model and put across ecological awareness to the students. We would like to support PIKA in its endeavour to become established as an FSC-certified production workshop. Ecological thinking can be rooted in the school curriculum by experts and specialists raising awareness during education. Thanks to our commitment, this process is also being supported by WWF Indonesia which provides the school with lectures and information material.
There is a huge interest for exchange in the design field. Here, we see the possibility for us to make a contribution with our specialist skills and experience. We support PIKA in terms of a know-how transfer through lectures, workshops and projects in the issues of ecology, innovation and design. We perceive the imparting of knowledge as a mutual exchange. Also, there is a vivid exchange and collaboration with the craftsmen and workshop leaders, work processes are discussed and refined on-site, and innovative construction and treatment methods are developed and implemented jointly.