Arne & Anton

I spent the day today with Arne Vodder, we met at the train station with Kim from Nielaeus, a small manufacturer, who has dealt with Arne for many years. Kim is the son of the founder and now works very closely with Arne in regards to some of his later work, especially contract furniture.

Kim and Arne and I had lunch together at the local golf club and enjoyed a glass of wine whilst discussing some of the goings on with the cabinet maker. When we met Daniel he mentioned through Kim’s translation he had been working on the cabinets until very early in the morning to have them prepared for Arne and myslef to look at!

We arrived at Daniel’s workshop, to see 3 really fantastic samples of Arne's cabinets, one in Oak, one in Walnut and one in Wenge. Arne and I looked at them and spent the next hours discussing the cabinets in great detail. This was a very special moment, as I truly felt involved in the process, as it should be (Arne kindly pointed out), the designer, the cabinet maker and the seller, all in one place to discuss the product and ensure that we all ended up with something that works.


Arne asked me how important is it that we are true to the original design, I replied very important, as long as it didn’t effect the integrity of the product in regards to its production. Both Arne and I felt the straight metal/wooden leg and the slight softness of the edge of the cabinet, were very important aspects of the design, which the cabinet maker had changed ever so slightly, so it was agreed to be changed back.


We also agreed that the colours doors should be same as the original for the walnut, but perhaps for the oak, we should look at some of Finn Juhl's colours from the period, as they would fit well with the oak. Both Arne and I talked about a Finn Juhl blue, which we both felt would work really well with the sideboard. Arne actually studied under Finn Juhl and was a very good friend of his. Finn Juhl, along with Arne were the 2 designers from the period that took the risk of putting colour with wood.

This day was a culmination of years of thinking how it would feel to be actually working with one of Denmark's great designers, and will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Arne and I then spent a very chatty 4 hours hours on the train back to Copenhagen talking about designers of today, laughing about stories from when he was working in the 50’s ad 60’s. Arne talked about how he ran his own office with another desigener named Anton (odd really) for many years, and how they used to tell the staff they were going to a meeting in CPH, but actually went out sailng for the afternoon. The Danes really are good at appreciating life's small miracles.


I look forward to catching up with him again soon.

1 comment:

Lorenzo B said...

wow, really a great story! I can't find the website of Nielius, could you tell me the address? thanks!