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Eva Mechler

Q&A with master furniture maker Eva Mechler

12 March 2024 • Written by Charlotte Hogarth-Jones

One of the speakers at Ocean Talks 2024 is Eva Mechler, a master furniture maker based in Switzerland who designs and hand-crafts bespoke furniture using natural wood and whose work has been featured on a number of award-winning sailing and motor yachts. Ahead of the event, Mechler talks to BOAT about her work.

How did your company come about?

My family can trace back a hundred and forty years of working with wood to my grandfather and great grandfather on my mother and father's side respectively.  Today, I have my own company in Switzerland with a skilled workforce and fully equipped workshop, from where I offer my original art-furniture made to order for each customer. I am hands-on with every step of the process from sketch to completion, and I collaborate with leading designers for land, air, and sea projects.

What will you be bringing with you to exhibit at Ocean Talks and why?

For Ocean Talks, I’m bringing examples of my limited-edition hand-crafted furniture made with off-cuts from a superyacht deck.  When a deck is completed, there are lengths of material that are too short for purpose. Typically these lengths would be incinerated but they’re perfect for making furniture and yacht owners love that this waste material from their yacht can be used to make iconic furniture.

What is your greatest achievement as a business?

An interesting question as there are many achievements I could mention.  I could say designing and making in my own workshop is a great achievement; to have my work installed beside the best designers on award-winning yachts is definitely high on my list.  But personally, my greatest achievement is meeting the challenge of making my business work alongside bringing up my wonderful daughters Lily, four and Emma, six.

What are your goals for the future?

As a maker, I’m committed to preserving and sharing skills, to teaching young artisans employed in my workshop and to proving that craftsmanship can be the key to contemporary culture. My goal is to continue designing and making wonderful objects that will be used and appreciated for generations to come.

What does the yachting industry need to change about the furniture it designs currently?

I think yacht owners and interior designers should be courageous when it comes to furnishing spaces on a yacht.  I’d like to see more minimalist interiors with “simple beauty” that allows wood to tell its own story. The furniture can be influenced by mid-century modern or contemporary designs found in the collections and galleries of Zürich and New York, the emphasis being on functionality and simplicity.

Where do you find inspiration?

My inspiration comes from people and places: my grandfather who taught me how to make a child’s toy; gaining knowledge about wood varieties; seeing how people engage wood by touching; learning from masters of craft and design; walking in the mountains and forests near my home; nurturing my garden; my young daughters and the furniture I should make for them and from my design collaborators who challenge me to stretch my ability as a maker.

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