The History of Moller

Had a meeting with Snerkergaarden, they make Nanna Ditzel Easy Chairs which we love and are planning to have by the end of this year. Surprisingly, only because they seemed quite old school they had some really outstanding designs, one by an old guy who also works with Frederica and a young guy apparently about 30, and the table the young guy designed was fantastic, quite modern, but all wood and with some really beautiful details, it really reminded me of some of Haslev's work, but with a bit more of an edge to it.

The factory has been around I think since about 1905, and mainly focuses on the cabinet making, and really lovely work made all with solid wood.

Then we drove to Moller to pick up a chair to see if it would work with another new table that is being made by Axel Kirsko. We bumped into John Moller, the son of Niels Moller, the grandson of J.L Moller. He was a real character and we just couldnt stop him reminiscing about his childhood and the history of Moller.

The factory was started by his grandfather before WWII, around 1930’s in typical Danish style, he made a piece of furniture for himself and then the neighbor asked him to make one for him. It grew to 8 people, but unfortunately he had passed away and left the company to his wife, who had no experience. The Foreman was left to run the company, who unfortunately was taking her for a ride and then the war came and the company collapsed and she bought back the shares that had been sold to the foreman.

Then it was Nils Moller who started it again. He was a cabinet maker and worked in the UK for a while and then studied in Orhus. He then started designing. I asked Jorn where his inspiration came from and it was mainly from jewelry in Museums. He would drag Jorn around to the Museums on the weekends and would finD forms and shapes in the jewellery that appealed to him.

Having known this for the first time, I can see the inspiration, especially as his chairs are so organic and certainly have a fine delicate nature that you see in jewelry. He designed the 71 in the late 30’s and Jorn said his dad would design then work with the makers and then would put the chair away for a year to let it rest, so he could look at it with fresh eyes. He would do this 4-5 times so it would take 5 years for every new design. Now that is how to resolve something!

Jorn and his friends were roped into working at the factory, putting on the metal stamps that are on all the old versions, he said he was paid less than 1 cent per piece. There was a guy there who I have seen every time I go to the factory, I always wondered how old he was, 73 and had worked for more than 40 years at the factory papercording. He was a charming old guy and remembered when Jorn was a boy.

Jorn showed us through the factory, and though I had been through before with the manager Morten, is always interesting to see it from the owners point of view.

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