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The Frisian Bell Chair

In the autumn of 2010, a table grafted on the Frisian bell chair was included in the Pilat&Pilat Famylje Collection, under the appropriate name Pake Sytse. The fact that this name appears in the Pilat&Pilat Famylje Collection is the result of a miraculous combination of circumstances in the Rink van der Velde year 2010.

Wandering between tombstones is a welcome trip for artists and designers. For example, furniture designer Gjalt Pilat regularly strolled around a bell chair at one of the cemeteries in his beloved Friesland. Built mainly in the northern provinces, this historic wooden church bell tower is a symbol of craftsmanship and craftsmanship. With the pieces of furniture that are ‘under construction’ in mind, it can just happen that a characteristic construction of this cultural heritage becomes the new starting point for a new table! The eureka moment every designer dreams of.

Art and culture

Two art and culture enthusiasts meet at the beginning of this year. In a hypermodern house with an unobstructed view of the Deelen nature reserve, resident and art collector Steven Sterk and furniture designer Gjalt Pilat take the spotlight. The most striking thing is that there is no proper talking table. Pilat talks passionately about a rectangular table, grafted onto the belfry, at that time present as a prototype in his workshop in Twijzel. Steven Sterk’s interest has been aroused and the table is given a place in his house without hesitation.

Steven Sterk is the initiator of the elm loft spectacle Pake Sytse, a tribute to author Rink van der Velde and named after the book of the same name. The performer of the title role in the play is actor Freark Smink. Together with comrade Foppe de Haan, Smink visited the Pilat furniture factory in Bosnia a few years ago. At the time, Smink shot a short film in the Bosnian company Nord Ent, which he recently showed to the public in the showroom in Twijzel, on the occasion of the opening of the new Interieurcaf√©. The place where new models from the Famylje Collection are shown in an informal atmosphere. That’s where Smink’s eye fell on the second table in the bell chair series. An oval, five meter long model in solid walnut. Still nameless, but once again a bell chair table found its destination in a Pake Sytse setting.


the table where everything comes together: Frisian culture, art, craft and family

legendary name

Pake Sytse is a legendary figure in the large Pilat family. This special waldpyk was none other than the grandfather of Gjalt Pilat and the uncle of Rink van de Velde, who died in 2001, who was a welcome guest with the Pilat family. In 1975 his uncle Sytse was the source of inspiration for the main character Sytse Cavelier.

It is tradition that every piece of furniture of the Pilat&Pilat Famylje Collection bears the name of a member of the extensive Pilat family. The name Pake Sytse sounds like a bell in the heart of the bell chair table!

The Pake Sytse table series, a rectangular, oval, round and square model, can be executed in oak, walnut, maple and elm. The table can now be seen at many selected Pilat&Pilat dealers in the Netherlands and Belgium, in addition to the showroom in Twijzel.

Text: Ra van der Hoek

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