If in Stockholm during the Stockholm Design Week 2019 you’re much welcome to visit a production of mine called ”Mellan handen och ögat” (Between the hand and the eye). It’s an exhibition + seminars + open studio programme on sustainability as it present itself when handicraft, craft and design meet and mingle! The ”Mellan handen och ögat” exhibition is a house-story…live…and it takes place at fab Svensk Hemslöjd. App. 60 of Sweden’s best craftspeople and designers participate, with everyday objects and furniture. The organisation Svensk Hemslöjd was founded in 1899 by textile artist Lilli Zickerman and the Swedish Prince Eugen. More information will soon be available at www.svenskhemslojd.com
Chanel has declared they’re going 100% fur-free as well as stop using exotic skins for their products. The iconic fashion house hereby join other famous brands, like Burberry, Gucci, Versace, Armani, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, DKNY and Donna Karan. Let’s urge design brands to follow suit pronto and say no to animal fur and skins in design items.
How nice Chanel! Now I can use my favourite perfume again, without getting bad vibes by a brand associated with abuse of animals, wildlife and nature. Photo copyright Djurens Rätt.
A retired lounge chair is sitting like a fine piece of art by the large window in my living room… Her name is Pernilla but she´s always been nicknamed ”Bruno” after Bruno Mathsson who designed this masterpiece in 1944. Bruno’s got a sleek, curved frame in laminated beech and original green paper webbing, now faded into a pale lime green. She’s no longer steady on her feet, and is wobbling slightly at touch. After close to 75 years of use this chair is now turned into a nest for cats. And as such she´ll remain.
Pernilla with the now very rare green paper webbing. Photo by Jacksons.
Pernilla with the now very rare red paper webbing. Photo by Jacksons.
Baby knew all along that Bruno actually would make a great cat nest (comfy…but also the perfect match to her emerald eyes…). Hera though is indifferent to the value of design. Food, sleep and some hunting makes her day. Everyday. Photo copyright Cia Wedin.
It’s time for the amaryllis bulbs to be planted and the hyacinths to go into vases. In app. 6 weeks from now the graceful flowers will blossom, filling the room with their lovely scent!
I’ll keep this beauty in mind while following the amaryllis of 2018 while they grow, slowly… into tall and slender…into white and lime…into perfection.
Hyacinth bulbs in Olympia vases by Ingegerd Råman for Skruf. Hats made of Carta Varese paper from Carta Pura. Wooden dear by Gunnar Johnsson for E Torndahl. Styling by Cia Wedin. Photo copyright Anna Kern.
Art + Sustainability is a strong trend and some projects manage to balance an artistic integrity with hard core pragmatism. In 2012 Olafur Eliasson teamed up with engineer Frederik Ottesen and founded Little Sun – a foundation and business, with the aim to bring sun energy to people who have no access to the electrical grid. Since the start more than 650 000 lamps have been sold of the original Little Sun lamp. Last year the team launched Little Sun Diamond, a pocket sized, feather light, solar powered lamp made of biodegenrable plastic. 5 hours charging in the sun gives 5 hours of bright light, fading to a longlasting soft light. Now Little Sun steps up with the release of Little Sun Black Diamond, a special edition in stylish carbon black. For each lamp sold two solar lamps will go to people in an area without reliably access to energy. The campaign runs November 1st until Christmas.
Little Sun Black Diamond by Olafur Eliasson for Little Sun (2018). Photo copyright Little Sun.
Five hours charge in the sun gives five hours bright light and then a slowly fade into a soft light over a time period of several hours. Little Sun Black Diamond by Olafur Eliasson for Little Sun (2018). Photo copyright Little Sun.
A nice surprise or your worst nightmare…Check out your actual carbon footprint with The Climate Account online calculator. The Climate Account has been developed by IVL Swedish Environmental Institute and is free for anyone to use as a help to detect how your lifestyle affects climate change.
Fresh and Fading Memories, hanging sculpture installation by one of my favourite artists Ghanaian born El Anatsui at Palazzo Fortuny in Venice (2007). An artistic recycling of aluminium wrappings and bottle-caps. Photo copyright Palazzo Fortuny.
Larsson korgmakare in Old Town Stockholm is the last rattan furniture maker in Sweden! Erica Larsson is 4th generation at the company. Larssons make their own fab furniture but also Josef Frank’s beautiful chairs for Svenskt Tenn. Recently Larsson korgmakare made some fab pieces for Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, designed by Matti Klenell and Carina Seth Andersson. If in Stockholm, visit the newly restored Nationalmuseum and admire the handmade furniture from Larsson korgmakare!
Chair by Matti Klenell for Nationalmuseum (2018). Handmade by Larsson korgmakare. Photo copyright Nationalmuseum.
In the making: craftsman Lasse from Larsson korgmakare work on the new chair by Matti Klenell for Nationalmuseum (2018). Photo copyright Anna Kern.
Erica Larsson at Larsson korgmakare working on a Josef Frank chair for Svenskt Tenn. From a piece for Svenska Dagbladet by Cia Wedin. Photo copyright Filippa Tredal.
The young design- and sustaiability minded handicraft spehere in Sweden make perfect blend of traditional and contemporary. One of the rising stars is Jennie Adén, who recieved her Barchelor of Fine Art degree at Beckmans College of Design (Stockholm 2018). Her graduation project ”Down to Earth” recieved a lot of positive attention due to the designers exquisite use of natural materials in a contemporary design. Trendy yet useful in the everyday Jennie Adéns objects question traditional production schemes. With her work she bring modes and values of contemporary design and traditional handicraft together. Earlier this year Jennie Adén won the Svenskt Tenn Design Award 2018, and exhibited at the Svenskt Tenn Gallery in september. She’s also the winner of a newly installed prize from Föreningen Svensk Hemslöjd and exhibit this week att Svensk Hemslöjd in Stockholm. Don´t miss out!
Ticka bowls by Jennie Adén (2018). Granulated polypore and water. Photo copyright Jennie Adén.
Some small party of individuals, actually the cute 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 now approaching winter and it is time to put up some new birdhouses!
Swedish farm Bankeberg make very functional and nice birdhouses. Order one! If not for your own garden it’ll make a perfect gift. Place the birdhouse on a secure spot during late Fall, and the wood will have enough time to get perfectly…dirty! That’s what the birds prefer when they nest in early spring. Put some straw or dry grass in the house and it’ll double as a shelter during cold winter nights.
The Bankeberg birdhouses comes for tits, starlings, fly catchers, owls, tree-creepers and bats.
Talking to me? Blue Tit, photo copyright Damian Waters.
Standard is a bird house for tits and flycatchers. It is easy to clean due to a front which can be opened. Photo copyright Bankebergs.
Winter has arrived in the north of Sweden and mountains and woods are covered in snow. In Stockholm Old Town we’re yet in a kind of Indian summer euphoria but wise urbanistas do prepare and update their stock of candles, tea, blankets and Swedish fika. The famous Swedish cinnamon bun was actually celebrated nationwide a few days ago, and we Swedes ate more than 7 million buns! In a few hours…Designers eat buns too, but they also are busy making our everyday beautiful. Here’s some top notch news on the subject of cosiness!
Tunes candle holder by Monica Förster for Georg Jensen (2018). Mirror polished stainless steel. As usual Monica Förster add a small, almost invisible twist to her design; I love the dubble function of the candle stick foot/tray. Photo copyright Georg Jensen.
The Mega Cross Blanket by Pia Wallén (2018). Organic cotton (from certified farms in Peru), woven in Sweden, size 150 x 250 cm. Here the designer has made a playful exaggeration in scale and abstraction of the cross pattern from the original Crux Blanket which Pia Wallén designed in 1991. Photo copyright Pia Wallén.
The Tea Advent Calendar 2018 by NABO design. Contains 24 organic teas including rooibos, black, green, white, red and herbal, for a new tea experience every day from 1st of December until Christmas Eve! Comes with Swedish or English text. Photo coyright NABO.
Ralph Erskines ”Lådan” (The Box) from 1941–1942 is one famous Swedish building! It is also a famous home. With only 20 squaremetres for himself, his wife Ruth and their two small children, Erskine had to invent space-saving furniture; the bed hung in ropes from the cealing, and doubled as a sofa, the working table folded into the bookshelf and so on. Lådan become known for its aesthetics and clever solutions and since long this small house stand as an architectual role model in the collective mind of Swedes longing for a simple (summer) dwelling.
Saturday 6th of October 2018 Lådan is open to the public. If in Stockholm, take the chance to experience an iconic house! An arrangement by ArkDes, The Swedish Center for Architecture and Design. Free entrance. For information on how to get to Lovön, see ArkDes.
Lådan was originally built in Lissma, south of Stockholm, as a permanent home. It had no electricity, no running water and no wc. The Erskine family lived 4 years in Lådan, before moving closer to town. Lådan was well-built, but the materials did not survive over time and gradually it subsided into nature. In 1989, under supervision by Erskine, Lådan was rebuilt in Lovön, Stockholm. Photos (above and below) of Lådan exterior copyright ArkDes.
Lådan interiors. Photo copyright Åke E:son Lindman.
Black and white images of Ralph Erskine and Lådan. Photo copyright ArkDes Collections.
The classic Scandi wood chair with its sleek and minimalistic look seem to reinvent itself every other year. In 2018 one interesting chair is the Linea Akademia chair by Wesley Walters & Salla Luhtasela for Nikari. It was part of Wesley Walters’ Master’s Thesis at Aalto University, a research of ”The American Shaker style and its characteristics, brought to life anew in a Nordic context”. Handsome!
Linea Akademia chair by Wesley Walters & Salla Luhtasela (aka Kaksikko) for Nikari (2018). Massive oak treated with wood oil mixture. Photo copyright Chikako Harada.