Surreal Reality

Bit hard to remember this day, bit of a blur!

Soren and I arrived early to the cabinet makers so I could sit down with Daniel and go though some business things, we were greeted by a finished sideboard in Oak, it was a little moving really to see it finished in the flesh, pretty cool really I thought, we have done it.

Soren and talked with Daniel and went over the details of the sideboard and the dining table, we also had very fortuitously found a very rare example of one of the bedsides and the hall table in Palisander, which I must say in 6 years of looking for furniture, I have never seen either. It seemed unreal they should be found now of all times, when we are about to re launch the design. On top of which Arne later told me he thinks Sibast only made around 50 of the hall tables, so its quite a find.

Rasmus and Momo (the photographer) showed up, and as Rasmus had not seen any of the prototypes, it was great for him to see the finished one, he was very happy, which is very important as he is the sales agent for the AV range in Scandinavia.

Then Arne cruised in very relaxed with his grandson who had driven him to the cabinet makers, It was quite a moment, perhaps even a bit overwhelming to see Arne looking at his finished sample; for me not Arne, he was very chilled as per usual!

We all looked over the range and talked with each other about how special the day was, then Daniel showed us around the factory as he is working on another couple of things for us and he wanted to show us the progress.

Then the Danish lunch of course, the open sandwiches, with fish and shrimp, and the terrible black coffee (sorry Denmark, it’s really not great). We all talked and Arne chatted about his work and that his famous desk is in Jimmy Carters home, Qaddafi home and a gangster from Chicago, good to know we are in great company!!!
Then we had Momo to take some more photos with Arne and then we all really just seemed to take a little time enjoy what was the day.

I feel exhausted & emotional & incredible proud of what we've all been able to acheive. Now I cant wait to get them home!

Turning the Tables

Here is the 1st Arne Vodder table to be made in almost 40 years.

And the original drawing by Arne that the cabinet maker used to make it!

AV Range will arrive December!

Well I am on the way home now, it has been an amazing trip, quite surreal in fact, I think my head is still spinning from the experience!

Yesterday was a really special, Arne and his wife Jona had me over for lunch, so Arne and I had a really nice chance to just chat.

I was thrilled as Arne shared with me his archive of work since the 50’s, photos, drawings, sketches, but there is one piece in particular which was just stunning; an original water colour by Arne of a chaise lounge he designed for Bovirke, I asked if he did this for all his pieces, but he chuckled and said he was too lazy to do it for all of them!

Arne very kindly allowed me to borrow what I needed, which of course I was thrilled about, so I am guarding them with my life and intend to make copies of all the images and documentation, as they would make some fantastic posters and resources for our clients and just to have.

Arne and I talked about the day at the factory, I wanted to make sure he was happy with the finished sample of the sideboard and dining table, which he was, as was I and even more thrilled to be able to bring back to life Arne’s work and in the right way.

I am really happy to say that the AV range will be available in Australia before anywhere else in the world, as we will get 1st delivery in December 09.

Arne and I also decided for the sideboards we will be numbering the 1st production run, so if you are keen to secure one the first sideboards produced in almost 50 years, you can contact your local showroom for more info.
We sat and talked for hours and discussed Arne’s early work and study under Finn Juhl, who was a lecturer at the Copenhagen Institute and the influence on Arne’s work, it was a great insight into the close relationship Arne had with Finn Juhl, with whom he became friends with.

We also looked through all of the old catalogues and I learnt a great deal about some of the designs not only by Arne but also by other designers he worked with or had 1st hand knowledge of. These chairs made by Sibast were attributed to Arne, but were actually designed by Helge Sibast.

I have attached another chair, which I have always know as Niels Vodder or Finn Juhl, but Arne and I talked about this and he corrected me that this was his work and could really see the influence of Finn Juhl, the organic nature of the chair, the bird like structure, very reminiscent of Juhl.

I have also attached a very rare Arne Vodder design. This coffee table was designed for Bovirke and is often attributed to Niels Vodder, but again is Arne. A very rare piece in a perfect combination of teak with oak legs. It was a great to to sit and chat with Arne, he is charming and funny, and has a wonderful sense of self, humble and inspiring.

I hope you enjoy.

A perfect fit

Just looking at the new AV prototypes.

I have loaded these images so you can compare. The black door is from an original AV sideboard, the new production is so close to the original, the measurements so precise, an old door will fit in the new cabinet!

The best department store in the world!

Illhums Bolighus - Copenhagen's Premium Department Store - with more than 450 of the best Scandinavian and international brands. I always visit here as it is a great source of inspiration for me - check out their current Finn Juhl installation - so beautiful. This is Scandinavian Emporium at its finest.

Illums opened up in 1925 under the name Bo. In 1941 was Bo taken over by the families Illum, Berg and Trock-Jensen. The name changed from Bo to Illums Bolighus.

Their building at Amagertorv was designed in 1961 by the Architect M.A.A. Kay Kørbin. They stock home accessories from world known designer brands, such as: Holmgaard, Rosendahl, George Jensen and many more.

Illums Bolighus Interior Design offers personal consultation on your interior design in Denmark or anywhere in the world. Illum Bolighus also has a small shop at Kastrup airport where smaller items are avaliable.

Dansk Kunst

Our new Sales Agent Rasmus took me the to Dansk Kunst museum today, othwerwise known as the Danish Musuem of Art & Design. I remember last time I was here with my very round, very pregnant wife!

It is a museum in Copenhagen for Danish and international design and crafts. It features works of famous Danish designers like Arne Jacobsen, Jacob Jensen & Kaare Klint, who was one of the two architects who remodeled the former Fredericks Hospital (built 1752–57) into a museum in the 1920s.

The museum houses the biggest library for design in Scandinavia. It also hosts a fully annotated and illustrated database of all furniture made in Denmark from 1900 to 2000, originally compiled by Reese and Marilyn Palley and later donated to and further developed by the museum. This very famous collection is known as the

Rasmus has a contact there, Christian who runs the museum. We met and had a great chat about AV’s work. He was thrilled to find out we were putting it back into production and asked if we might be able to organize for a vintage piece of AV’s work for them and for any of Arne’s drawings or sketches for their collection. It was great to meet someone who lives and breathes what we do every day.

Check out, the most complete index of all furniture design from Denmark for the last 100 years!

The Arne Vodder Range becomes a reality

The plane trip was a reminder of the distance we go to do what we do, especially being apart from my baby girl and wife.

I spend some time thinking about what we have been talking about and planning for over the last 6 months and it feels a little surreal. To be working with Arne and giving his products a new life is a once in a lifetime experience, especially as Arne is actually involved.

Our meeting is with Cabinet maker Daniel on Thursday, Arne will be there, Daniel, myself and Rasmus Koch, who is our agent in Denmark, it will be a bit of a momentous occasion, and I will try to organize a bottle of schnapps to make a toast. We have organised a photographer to capture the day and more importantly the feeling on the day. Hygge!!

Arne and I are meeting in the next day to talk about what else is possible in regards to designs and I am excited at the prospect of looking over old drawings and sketches he has done, we are particularly interested in some of his easy chairs and I also hope to ask if we can look at designing a sofa together!

I do not want people to read this and think I am being self indulgent or that I take this for granted, I feel extremely privileged to be where I am today and hope you as our clients feel this. I hoped this event would come about and felt confident I could make it happen, but never did I once presume.

We are really re launching the Arne Vodder brand back into the market after 50 years, and this is special. We have decided the best way to do this is to take the AV range and launch it ourselves at the Stockholm furniture fair in Sweden in Feb 2010, very exciting. We are setting up an office in Copenhagen this week, so we have a base here.

I am also of course here searching out beautiful vintage furniture for our clients and know I will be sending back some stunning examples, I intent to post a few this time, which I normally don’t, to give you a sneak peak.

Copenhagen in summer is beautiful, full of European tourists the walking streets are alive with buskers and you could easily hear half a dozen different languages while walking. The bikes are out, people are sunbaking and its only 25 degrees, they really soak it up when its here.

It is a very different place in summer, the strawberries you can smell as you pass the little corner stores and tulips are in bloom in the window boxes of the old apartments, the city has a lightness that is only in summer. The people are out to enjoy it.

Hotdogs, still love the hotdogs, but I was disappointed at the hotel Axel where I stay, as I tell everyone about these blueberry’s they have. I’m still not sure if they are dried or semi dried, but when you bite into them, its as if you have tasted the pure essence of a blueberry, its as if they have extracted the flavour! Anyway they have stopped buying them, so they have kindly offered to buy me a box and I am determined to import them somehow. I have tried finding something in Australia, but they are Canandian or from New York and the don’t have that same intense flavour, I will keep you posted, contact me if you interested in buying some, maybe we will try to bring them out at Christmas; a special one off delivery!!!

I hope you enjoyed this, I will blog again after I had our meeting re AV.

Back in CPH

I'm back in Denmark - the weather here is beautiful, lots of sunlight which makes the Danes even happier than they usually are.

Have had a chance to drop my bag & take this happy snap of the view from my hotel window! Even this small shot is so Scandinavian done you think?

Its a huge trip as Arne Vodder & I are meeting our cabinet maker to see how the prototypes for the range are going.

In case you are not up to date I'll add the post from May to fill you in. But have a read of February's posts as well.

Stay tuned.

The Arne Vodder Range takes from May

When I first started working with Arne Vodder (AV) in February, we only really discussed the famous sideboard as it is such an iconic piece and depending on the model and wood is fetching around $15,000 AUD. I have been collecting and putting away a small range of Arne’s work, including his bedside chests, chests of drawers and a sideboard all of which have the distinctive organic handle/drawer and I intend to bring these pieces out of hiding when we launch the new AV range.

As thrilled as I was with the sideboard going back into production for Great Dane, in my heart I really was hoping Arne and I could talk about the entire range, so when I caught up with Arne on my last visit to Denmark we started talking about bringing back to life the entire AV range!

Arne and I discussed and talked about his designs at length and pulled together a stunning range including 2 dining tables, hall table/servery, bedside chest, chest of drawers sideboard and coffee table, creating a stunning range that will be a world wide exclusive for Great Dane, something I am very proud of.

I have attached images of the original catalogue drawings of the sideboard/chest of drawers, dining table, bedside chest and a photo of a rare vintage hall table/serving table, and a sketch by Arne of a coffee table he designed for P Jeppesen in 1969; all of these along with the famous Arne Vodder sideboard will make up the AV range.

The 1st 10 items produced of each design will be numbered and signed by Arne Vodder himself, and will be offering these exclusively to our Great Dane clients.

I will keep you posted, hope you enjoy the images.

Great Giving

They tell me its approaching that time of year again - you know, the time when people make that huge leap into Happily Ever After??

Well, if this is you, then you might be interested to hear that Great Dane offers a unique gift registry service.

Before your special day select a piece you have always wanted and our Showroom will set up a registry. Your guests and friends then make a contribution! Not like the average service where you compile a list of chachkas for people to chose from, here you select one very special thing & your guests get together to make that happen for you.

It's that simple to take home your most coveted Great Dane piece - ask us for more information.