Post   10. 02. 2019

Stefan Knopp

The products and unique surfaces and S tefan Knopp’s sustainably designed working method accurately reflect the philosophy of Janua.
A meaningful cooperation
— the Stefan Knopp Edition from and for Janua.



Stefan Knopp try to work out the special story of each tree and thus creates surfaces that are unique.


Furniture by Stefan Knopp is a real experience: In his pieces, the natural aura of the wood unites with the unique surface treatment to create a very distinctive effect. The natural grain of the wood is not only preserved, but brought out even more through the surface finishing.


Interview with Stefan Knopp

You work with nature, and refer to it as your teacher. How do you successfully transfer the energy and innate power of the natural world into your furniture? 

This ability likely comes from my curiosity and the fascination that the natural world has always had for me. I discovered stories in wood from an early age – I remember looking up at the wooden ceiling at my grandparents’ house. I could see faces, eyes and figures looking back at me in the grain. As the actual substance as well as the hidden aspects of wood still fascinate me to this day, I tell its story through my tables. 

You specialise in tables. What does the table mean for you?

The table forms the centre of family life. It’s where we eat, talk and celebrate together. There’s something sacred about tables. Some were built as altars for making offerings to a higher power. I like this symbolism, as I enjoy nothing more than offering nice things to guests on my tabletop. Besides that, a table often encapsulates the entire biography of a tree spanning several centuries, with the people who use the table adding their own chapters to this winding tale. A table should be possessed, and understood.

You brought back charburning as a surface treatment, perfected it, and made it desirable for high-class interiors. What was the greatest challenge involved in this? 

As it’s impossible to truly control fire, it was always exciting to see what the flames decided to do – as well as to see how wood reacts when it comes into contact with fire. Finding the right amount of fire was a challenging process, as our goal was initiating a metamorphosis as opposed to causing destruction.

Nowadays you don’t just charburn the surfaces of the table, you also wash them. Is water less destructive than fire? As different as fire and water are, they have one thing in common: Their reaction is hard to predict – perhaps with water even more so than with fire?

As every tree grows in a different spot and takes on different nutrients from the soil, it’s impossible to predict the exact shade that the wood will take on after washing. Given these variations, creating a coherent collection is not easy. 

Fire is used for charburning, water for washing. According to the principle of the four elements, that leaves earth and air... 

I harness the shine of precious stone for Janua’s new gold surface finish – in a sense adding the element of earth to the collection. And when we smoke the wood, its tannic acid reacts with ammonium chloride or ammonia. This brings air into the mix – so, in fact, our surface treatments utilise all four elements.

What makes a table from the Stefan Knopp Edition by Janua worth owning?

The fact that each one tells its ownunique story, created as they are with living material, forming the centre of a living space. Our tables bring people closer to the innate power of nature, ultimately satisfying our deep desire to connect with this natural authenticity.

(Stefan Knopp spoke to Alexandra von Poschinger.)