The design festival HAND.KOPF.WERK in Salzburg saw Austrian designer Thomas Feichtner and the tradition-steeped umbrella manufactory Kirchtag joined forces for a project together. The outcome of their spontaneous collaboration was CREST, an umbrella stand.
For over 100 years, the Salzburg-based handcrafting business Kirchtag has produced rain umbrellas at its workshop on Getreidegasse, where parts of the workshop walls are over 1,000 years old. The canes are bent over steam before being fitted with stretchers. The cloth is hand-cut and sewn. An aura of handcrafting history thus surrounds each of these unique items.
“The Kirchtag umbrella is such a precise and perfectly developed product in and of itself that I, as a designer, wouldn’t want to make any design-related changes to it; instead, I thought of expanding it,” says Feichtner. On his very first visit to this manufactory, the designer took note of the pinkish-red floor made from the Adnet limestone so typical of Salzburg. Inspired by this material, Feichtner designed an umbrella stand that is small but all the weightier and precisely adapted to the dimensions of Kirchtag’s hand-crafted umbrellas.
With CREST, Kirchtag customers can position their umbrellas within reach and anywhere they please. The name “Crest” refers to a peak or a crown(ing) and is meant as a tribute to Kirchtag’s perfect product. Feichtner’s design consists of two triangles rotated inside each other and conically tapered upwards. This interplay of surfaces, lines, and edges amounts to an independent and memorable formal approach. The hole is cut to match the distinctive shape of Kirchtag umbrellas’ top ends. And the material used is appropriate not only in terms of shape and weight, but also in terms of Kirchtag’s history. A special piece indeed for umbrella aficionados.