Archive | Fab Swedes

Flower power

A distinctive trend at Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2018 was the replacement of grey grey grey by pale natural colours. But even though I am ”Mrs Beige” by heart I could easily have done with some patterns or at least accent colouring to highlight all the sand, cream, pale pink, icy blue and greige…Several brands worked with flowers, moss and branches in their presentations. One display really moved me; the lovely, natural, simplistic beauty of Gunnar Kaj for Iittala. Kaj, ”flower artist” as he likes to call himself, is known for his ability to create a poetic feel by using flowers and branches in unexpected combinations. Often au naturel…and always with respect of the plant. I loved the huge bunch of blueberry twigs in a Savoy vase by Alvar Aalto in the new moss green colour.

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Small spring tulips in red, pink and white standing in their bulbs courting the Savoy vase by Alvar Aalto for Iittala. If you look closer you also see a few Frittillaria meleagris (Sv. Kungsängslilja) among the tulips! Arrangement by Gunnar Kaj for Iittala (2018). Photo copyright Peter Bruselid.

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Preview of Putki, a lamp by Matti Klenell for the restored National Museum of Sweden which is opening in October 2018. The lamp is mouth blown at the Iittala factory. Flower arrangement by Gunnar Kaj for Iittala (2018). Photo copyright Iittala.

Alvar Aalto, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, Iittala, Scandimood 2018-02-10

Cube and Social Club and a cat named Simon

Swedish brand Articles has launched their 2018 collection. And it is spot on the contemporary with interesting but laid-back form, sophisticated colouring, a hint of industrial and a touch of ornament. The statement piece Social Club by architect Anna von Schewen is a comfortable chair functioning as a small privat space or, with one or both sides folded down, as a welcoming, socially inviting seating. The glass vase Cube by Carina Seth Andersson has got a strong, almost grim, geometric form, but as part of the moulding process an ornamental pattern show on the side. Beautiful!

 

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I agree with Simon, the handsome 4-year old Siberian cat, that his mom Anna knows how to design fab, comfortable furniture! Social Club by Anna von Schewen for Articles (2018) is a lounge chair that comes with an interesting double function; create your own private space with both sides up. Or fold one or both sides down and there’ll be an inviting openness to the chair. Social Club is available in high and low versions, with textile clothing. Photo copyright Articles.

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Cube by Carina Seth Andersson for Articles (2018). Clear or black glass. Handmade by the gifted craftsmen at Skruf in Sweden. Photo copyright Articles.

Architectual moves, Carina Seth Andersson, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Fab Swedes 2018-02-09

Ten Textile Talents

The exhibition ”Ten Textile Talents” runs between 6 Februari – 13 March, 2018 at Svenskt Tenn in Stockholm. Students from five international design schools has been invited to show their interpretations of classic Josef Frank designs. The result is amazing!

The talented designers are Amanda Andersson and Lisa Englund and from Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design (Stockholm, Sweden), Chloe Flint and Sam Wilde from Royal College of Art (London, UK), Haruka Udo and Kotone Utsunomiya from Tama Art University (Tokyo, Japan), Julia Svantesson and Malin Westman from The Swedish School of Textiles (Borås, Sweden) ad Cassie McGettigan and Charlotte Fairless from Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, USA).

Svenskt Tenn have chosen three patterns to be part of their collection:

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Chintz by Lisa Englund for Svenskt Tenn (2018). Cotton. This well drawn pattern comes in black/white or white/black. It is beautiful not only as table cloth or curtain…I’d love to see this pattern as a bed spread or huge cushion! Photo copyright Svenskt Tenn.

Chintz by Lisa Englund 2018
Chintz by Lisa Englund for Svenskt Tenn (2018). Cotton. The designer was inspired by Joseph Frank’s pattern US Tree (1943–1945) which is based on a straight, continuous stem with the repeat moving only upwards, not sideways. Frank added organic shapes on a linear basis. Lisa Englund combine the form idea of Frank with experiences from a stay in India where she studied India’s chintz tradition and its hand-painted or block-printed fabric which was exported to Europe during the 1600-1700s and become an important part of the Swedish textile heritage. Photo copyright Svenskt Tenn.

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The Story of Flowers by Kotone Utsunomiya for Svenskt Tenn (2018). Velvet. Photo copyright Svenskt Tenn.

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Dear Josef Frank, by Haruka Udo for Svenskt Tenn (2018). Linen. In a gifted and inspired way Haruka Udo transform the ”spark of life” she experience with Frank’s designs into an organic pattern with a strong graphic feel. Photo copyright Svenskt Tenn.

Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Fab Swedes, Josef Frank 2018-02-09

Closing in on the Design Week!

In a few days the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2018 will be up and running. My mailbox is filling up with interesting previews of ideas and possibilities to experience and learn more about design! Here’s some brand and designer news to keep an eye on during the Design Week:

Designtorget in collaboration with students from Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm. Morfar wheat warmer by Isabel Wagner and Olivia Tognelli Brontén is a real teaser with its ”grandpa + cat + relaxing + eco feel good” interpretation!

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Wästberg + Dawid”Farewell to the Cave” jubilee celebration (Wästberg ten years), art exhibition by fab photographer Dawid and launch of a new book by Magnus Wästberg. Product launch? None!

Articles = Cube by Carina Seth Andersson and Socialclub by Anna von Schewen. Two exceptionally gifted designers. Two products. A launch and an exhibition.

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Iittala Design Talk – Colours for Living where Jeremiah Tesolin (Creative Director, Iittala), Matti Klenell (Interior designer), Lotta Agaton (Interior designer) and Katri Saarikivi (Researcher of cognitive near science, topic colour and emotion, Helsinki University) take on a discussion on the ”power of colours and how they inspire better living within our home”.

Jessica Signell Knutsson; elegant but bold minimalism by the Swedish furniture designer from her designstudio in Barcelona. Exhibited by Astrid.

Bolon. In situ at several exhibition spaces at the Fair we’ll experience the magic of Bolon flooring; in ”Thammada” – an installation by Paola Navone, Guest of Honor at the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2018; in the exhibition and café by Nick Ross for the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair Greenhouse area; in ”Panorama” – an exhibition on democratic architecture.

Gärsnäs. New work by David Ericsson, Färg & Blanche and others, displayed in a space designed by TAF architects.

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Architectual moves, Bolon, Book Cradle, Carina Seth Andersson, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, Iittala, TAF, Wästberg 2018-01-29

A small urbanista!

Some small party of very cute individuals, actually the Blue Tits of Old Town, are regular visitors to the feeding table outside our studio window. They’re especially active when a change of weather is under way. In the Nordic countries we’re are now facing deep winter. It is cold, dark and every other day it snows. Feeding the small birds during this harsh period is a popular activity among Swedes. This weekend we’ll participate in the event ”Vinterfåglar in på knuten”, a yearly counting of small birds initiated in 2006 by Sveriges Ornitologiska Förening and now called BirdLife Sweden.

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During the counting of small birds 2017 app. 500 Blue Tit individuals were spotted in Stockholm City. Making the Blue Tit the most common small bird in Stockholm City. In second place came The Great Tit with 209 individuals. Photo copyright BirdLife Sweden.

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Animal Rights, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, In the Season, Scandimood 2018-01-26

Eva Lange

We´re  heading towards the upcoming ”design race” in Stockholm, where we’ll be swirling through days and nights at the Stockholm Design Week and Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2018. As a preparation I spend some time with the beautiful, inspiring work by Swedish sculptor Eva Lange (born 1935). A few years ago I met with the artist in her studio in Stockholm. It resulted in an editorial portrait where Eva Lange speak about her craft and life, and also let us get a glimpse of her beautiful studio. As several readers have asked for the whole editorial I enclose it below.

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If you´ve got an Eva Lange sculpture nearby; go and spend some time with it! To the left: Del av blomma by Eva Lange, plaster, photo copyright Viktoria Spasova Ahlenius/Bukowskis.  To the right, sculpture by Eva Lange, plaster, photo copyright Bukowskis.

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”Sculpture – Eric Grate and Eva Lange”, exhibition at Bukowskis, January 23 – 31, 2018. The bronze to the right is a piece by Eric Grate (1896–1983), a famous Swedish artist who started his career as part of the surrealist movement in Paris and, over the years, developed his very own expression, mainly in bronze. Photo copyright Bukowskis.

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”Mellan handen och ögat” , editorial piece by Cia Wedin for Residence SE. Photo copyright Patric Johansson. Layout copyright Residence. Feature copyright Cia Wedin.

Compassionates, Fab Swedes, Friends 2018-01-22

Where design and art meet

Recently we’ve seen a strong trend to showcase design in ”art spaces”, and vice versa. If done well design and art may learn from each other and also contribute to a discussion on what, why and how to put design on display.

In September 2017 a small exhibition opened at ArkDes, Sweden’s national centre for architecture and design, located in Stockholm: ”The HI-group. Craftsmanship in the plastic age” was commissioned by ArkDes, curated by Johan Örn and designed by TAF into the best design exhibition in Sweden in 2017. Absolutely fab! If you missed it, you may still enjoy the book/exhibition catalogue written by Johan Örn (curator of the collections at ArkDes) with graphic design by Johannes Molin. It is a splendid examination of the role of crafts in Scandinavian post-war furniture and interior design.

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The HI-group was a Swedish collective of craftsmen and designers working across different fields and in different materials. The HI-group are now considered masters of craft, furniture and interior design from the 1960. Photo copyright Kristofer Johnsson & TAF.

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A congenial selection of 30 objects, from furniture to photography, that had never been seen together before told a story of the renaissance of craft in an era more associated with modern, standardized materials. From exhibition ”The HI-group” at ArkDes, September – November 2017. Photo copyright Kristofer Johansson & TAF.

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The logotype for the HI-group by Melin & Österlin for the exhibition in 1966 (red colour). Previously exhibition logotype colours: Blue (1963) and brown (1964–1965). We recognize the colours as typical for the time, yet they have a distinctive contemporary feel. Photo copyright ArkDes.

 

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Book ”The HI-group and the Return to Craft – Swedish Furniture and Interiors 1960–1966”, by Johan Örn for ArkDes/Carlssons (2017). Graphic design by Johannes Molin.

 

From Sweden and the 60s archive to Japan where Marimekko plunge into a search for the spirit of print making.

”The Marimekko Spirit – Paavo Halonen / Maija Louekari / Aino-Maija Metsola” exhibition opened at the Ginza Graphic Gallery in November, and focuses on Marimekko’s younger-generation designers and the contemporary art of print making. It’ll be open until 13 January, 2018.

The second exhibition, ”Marimekko Spirit – Elämäntapa (暮らしぶり)”, opened at the Gallery A4 in December and will explore the dialogue between the Finnish and the Japanese lifestyles in the context of Marimekko’s design heritage. It’ll close at February 28, 2018.

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For the exhibition ”Marimekko Spirit” at Ginza Graphic Gallery Marimekko-designers Paavo Halonen, Maija Louekari and Aino-Maija Metsola were invited to create one completely new, Japanese-inspired print design each, based on their own impressions of a country none of them had ever visited before. Photo copyright Keisuke Kawanami.

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Diverse and stunning prints by the young Marimekko designers exhibited at Ginza Graphic Gallery (2017/2018). Photo copyright Keisuke Kawanami.

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A glimpse of the design process: Marimekko designers exhibited at Ginza Graphic Gallery (2017/2018). Photo copyright Keisuke Kawanami.

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…and at Gallery A4 in Tokyo you can experience the colourful world of Marimekko in a set including both sauna and a feel of the Finnish forests…

 

In Gustavsbergs Konsthall, 30 minutes east of Stockholm, fab Katja Pettersson (ex Front design group) examines ”Climate Anxiety. Guilt” in the exhibition ”Welcome Back”. Open until 28 January, 2018. As usual Katja Pettersson make a strong statement working with breathtaking ideas formulated within a sphere of likewise strong feeling(s), presented in a smart, smooth and visually design-orientated context. Don’t miss out!

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Welcome Back poster by Stefan Engblom (2017). Due to the massive interest for the exhibition it has been prolonged until 28 January, 2018.

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Overview ”Welcome Back”, exhibition by Katja Pettersson at Gustavsbergs Konsthall. Photo copyright Erik Undéhn.

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”Earth: 100 square meters, cut unburned clay. Human footprint, our weight dries the earth.” Detail from ”Welcome Back”, exhibition by Katja Pettersson at Gustavsbergs Konsthall (2017/2018). Photo copyright Erik Undéhn.

 

Gustavsbergs Konsthall

Gustavsbergs Konsthall is Sweden’s only public gallery specializing in contemporary craft art and a leading venue for Swedish and international crafts. The gallery aims to increase public understanding of contemporary craft art and to promote discussion. The exhibition schedule features crafts in all types of materials, displaying current work by internationally recognized craft artists as well as the avant-garde of the younger generation. The gallery opened in 2007. During summertime you can visit by boat from Stockholm City.

Architectual moves, Book Cradle, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Fab Swedes 2017-12-31

What does the fox say?

In the end of 2017 good news came from the north of Sweden. The Arctic Fox project reported 31 litters of Arctic Fox were born during the summer. Compare that to the 6 litters of 2016! The small Fjällräv (Arctic Fox), is ”endangered” which means it is in acute threat of extinction. The total population is only app. 200 individuals. The Arctic Fox was given protected status in Sweden 1928, and Norway 1930, but until then it was hunted large-scale. Since the 1990s efforts have been made to protect the fox and its habitat.

If you’re curious to listen to the fox, you’ll find a charming audioinsta @fjallravsprojektet

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The white colour morph changes from a brown/grey/white summer coat to a completely white winter coat – an adaptation for staying camouflaged both in summer and winter habitats. One research area of The Arctic Fox project examine how camouflage is affected by shorter snow seasons under climate change. Photo copyright Michael Eldborn.

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A 11-month old Swedish female arctic fox in winter coat. Photo copyright Tomas Meijer/The Arctic Fox Project.

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In the Arctic Fox project Sweden and Norway collaborates, with the aim to help this fine little animal survive.

Animal Rights, Compassionates, Contemporary Scandi, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, In the Season, Scandimood 2017-12-31

The small size Scandi gift 2017

Looking for a Contemporary Scandi design gift size small? Here’s some of my favourites:

 

 

Reflector by Svenskt Tenn

Reflector by Erika Pekkari for Svenskt Tenn, brass, 24,5 cm. A fine little object to bring as a gift to someone who love flowers and perhaps has grown an amaryllis for Christmas. Put the reflector in the flowerpot and it’ll reflect light into the room. Or, use it as a bookmark! Photo copyright Svenskt Tenn.

 

Coaster by Pia Wallén

Coaster in felted eco wool by Pia Wallén. When you arrive at a friends house with a bottle of glögg (Swedish for mulled wine) why not add some coasters – for designs sake! Photo copyright Pia Wallén.

 

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Nail brush Lovisa is handmade by visually impaired craftsmen at Iris Hantverk brush binding manufacturing in Stockholm. Oil treated oak and tampico fibre, 10 x 4 x 3 cm. Perfect in the bathroom, kitchen or in the garden! Photo copyright Iris Hantverk.

 

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…and the new vegan chocolate truffle, handmade by Åre Chokladfabrik in Jämtland county, in the north of Sweden. Photo copyright Åre Chokladfabrik.

Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, In the Season, Iris Hantverk, Pia Wallén 2017-12-21

From wood to textile

Do you know what small fashion brand Allvar has in common with gigantic furniture maker IKEA and iconic textile producer Marimekko? They´re all investing in the developing of new kinds of cellulose based textiles. With an aim to find a sustainable alternative to cotton etc.

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Allvar Hipster by Stefan Söderberg (founder of fashion brand Hope) for Allvar (2017), made from pine and spruce trees from FSC certified forests in the Ångermanland province in Sweden. Timber from these forests are sent to the biorefinery Domsjö Fabriker by the forest company Holmen. Most of the trees selected are those too weak to be used as construction timber. In the biorefinery, the wood is separated into its different parts: ethanol, resin, lignin and cellulose. Allvar underwear are made from the cellulose. Photo copyright Allvar.

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Allvar is the first brand of textile products with a certain origin in the Swedish forests. The minimalistic style of both product and packaging lends Allvar a chance to be recognized at the international fashion scene. Photo copyright Allvar.

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Allu dress by Marimekko (2014) was the first Marimekko product to be made of Ioncell fabric. Photo copyright Marimekko.

Since some years Marimekko has been part of a research project led by Aalto University and the University of Helsinki developing the Ioncell-F method, by which birch cellulose can be used to manufacture a biodegradable textile fibre. Marimekko now takes the step to make a market entry of wood-based textiles made of pulp-based fibre spun with Spinnova technology. Finnish fibre technology company Spinnova is currently the only company in the world able to convert pulp directly into textile fibre without chemical solvents.

Swedish forest

Ikea in partnership with H&M and the Swedish green-tech company Tree to Textile has embarked on a project to develop techniques for the making of cellulose based textiles. When and how is yet to be presented.

Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes 2017-12-05

08.22 traditions

December 3rd in Stockholm Old Town and at sunrise 08.22 we lit a candle and have some tea and gingerbread while enjoying the scent of hyacinths. Six hours later the sun sets but by then you´ll see paperstar lighting in every other window, and outdoors garden torches are burning.
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The essence of a stylish Stockholm winter afternoon: Bamboo Chair by Viggo Boesen (1936), table Utö by Axel Einar Hjorth (1930s) and candle stick Holocene no 3, by Jasper Morrison for Wästberg (2017). Photo copyright Wästberg.

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Hyacinths are everywhere! Glass by Ulla Forsell. From a piece by Cia Wedin for ELLE Decoration. Photo copyright Titti Erksell-Barker.

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Paper star Stella from Watt & Veke, handmade in environmental friendly produced paper. Size 80 cm. Photo copyright Watt & Veke.

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…and garden torch Marfa light, by Claesson Koivisto Rune for Smaller Objects. Galvanized, powder coated steel, 12x12x65 cm. Photo copyright Smaller Objects.

Claesson Koivisto Rune, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, Scandimood, Wästberg 2017-12-03

The green approach

…is too often a kind of green-washing for brands aware of the sustainability trend. But remember my post on flooring and colours? Pia Wallén, Bolon and Kasthall all do a great work bringing forth new ideas, techniques and materials for the benefit of climate as well as their workers and customers. Let’t take a look:

Pia Wallén is dedicated to pure materials and has developed new organic qualities for the cotton blankets and a strict green policy for the wool used in blankets and accessories. The products are made in Sweden and Pia Wallén goes for quality in every aspect of the production, from the design process and research for the very best materials, to the collaboration with a small family owned weavery. It is an exclusive and slow process as the product has to be top notch, to stand a chance in the textile market.

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Cross Blanket Midnight Blue, by Pia Wallén. Made in Sweden in eco cotton from Peru. Size 160×240 cm. Photo copyright Länna Möbler.

Bolon is a brand always pushing forward, bringing new takes on sustainability. With the vision of a future without footprints Bolon creates products that respects the environment from several perspectives. These are: 1. Product recycling. 2. No use of dangerous substances. 3. Exceeding legislation and industry standards. 4. Anticipating future legislation. 5. Purchasing practices. 6. Production using renewable energy. 7. Energy recovery from the floor after use.

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New this October is Bolon Green Weld  – the very first non toxic welding on the market. A welcome innovation, especially for the person working with installing the floor. This new glue is completely free from the common toxic component Tetrahydrofuran!

Kasthall recently launched Harvest – a new concept where the brand make use of spill over yarn from their production. As all Kasthall’s rugs are made to order there are often two or three spools of a certain colour yarn left over after weaving a rug. This because they make of a few extra spools in case there’s a need to redo something during the production process. The brand cannot reuse the residual spools of wool for rugs in the same collection due to the risk of minor colour discrepancies. The variation in colour of the residual spools of yarn posed a challenge and inspired Kasthall to find a new way to put it to use.

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Harvest by Ellinor Eliasson for Kasthall (2017) is a woven rug in 100 % wool made from left over yarn. This new approach on the classical Swedish rag rug comes in six colour combination but you never know beforehand which yarn will be used. The client may choose colourscheme but the rug’ll be unique. Harvest is framed with an edge, in which the colour-shifts of the rug is repeated and mixed. Photo copyright Kasthall.

 

 

 

Bolon, Contemporary Scandi, Eco Aesthetics, Environmental friendly, Fab Swedes, Kasthall, Pia Wallén, Scandimood 2017-10-17