Svend Aage Jensen

The Danish designer and ceramist Svend Aage Jensen was an expert in glazes by years of experience and is mainly known for his designs for Søholm Stentøj.

He started at Søholm Stentøj in the age of 26 and soon showed at special gift for glazing. Svend Aage Jensen developed the glazing for many designs at Søholm Stentøj, such as the EJ64 Series (The Blue Series) by Einar Johansen in 1964. The Series features a wonderful deep blue glaze with hints of red-brown tones with a contrasting dark brown-dark gray matte glaze. Svend Aage Jensen is also created his own Series, like the Manilla Series from the early 1960s, featuring a sgraffito decoration technique, which brings out a gorgeous shining glaze ranging from brown over blue to pearl.

Together with Holm Sørensen, Svend Aage Jensen created the Burgundia Series from 1955. Holm Sørensen created the shapes while Svend Aage Jensen designed the decoration and the glazing. The series features a matte black – dark brown base color with glossy, pastel decorations, mostly geometrical or floral patterns, in blue, yellow and white.

Svend Aage Jensen worked at Søholm Stentøj in the period 1944-1980.

Marianne Starck

Marianne Starck was one of the main contributors to the success of Michael Andersen & Søn’s pottery in the second half of the 20th century.

She was born in Germany and studied at the Joachim Thom’s pottery in Holstein Germany, later went on to study graphic art in Hamburg.

In 1955 she moved to the Danish island, Bornholm to become art director at Michael Andersen & Søn, a position she kept until the pottery’s closure in 1993.

Through almost four decades, she created amazing pottery pieces, stoneware, tableware series and reliefs, of which many have become icons and coveted pieces today, like the black/white series “Negro”.

Pieces done by Marianne Starck are usually signed MS and marked with the Michael Andersen & Søn logo (three fish inside a triangular crest).

Erik Buck

Erik Buck is somewhat of a mystery figure – only thing we known for sure is that his industrial design creations are distinctly Scandinavian, combining smooth wooden foundations with fabric and leather in an organic and functional design.

To be more precise, Buck was a Danish interior and industrial designer, who created a number of commercial furniture pieces, such as the Model 61 Bar stool (1961) and the Model 49 dining chair (1949), both produced at Oddense Maskinsnedkeri (later renamed O.D. Møbler). Another fine example is the Model 310 dining chair (ca. 1956/57), produced at Chr. Christensens Møbelfabrik.

Fabricius & Kastholm

Fabricius & Kastholm was two Danish designers, who shared a passion for optimizing shape, material and ergonomics in the 1960s, and many of their furniture designs is today considered iconic mid century pieces.

Preben Juhl Fabricius (1931-1984) was trained cabinetmaker at cabinetmaker Niels Vodder and Jørgen Kastholm (1931-2007) was trained blacksmith. Both went on to study architecture at the School of Interior Design in the mid-1950s under Finn Juhl, Fabricius graduated in 1957 and Kastholm graduated the following year. It was not until they both had gained some experience abroad that they met again in 1960, as both was employed at architect Ole Hagen.

Fabricius and Kastholm shared a common approach of perfection, aesthetics and minimization in relation to furniture design without ever compromising quality, and as Kastholm put it, when asked on the collaboration: “We had the same basic approach, we both wanted to minimize. I had been to the United States and seen furniture by Eames and Mies van der Rohe and it inspired us. The simplest lasts longest. At school we had learnt that timelessness was an ideal.”

Inspired by functionalism and the resoluteness of Scandinavian design, which had a considerable influence on the aesthetics of the sixties, Fabricius and Kastholm established their own studio in a basement in Gentofte, north of Copenhagen, Denmark in 1961. They worked closely together, taken turn to make chances to the drafts and drawings, and created very stylish minimalist designs, often with leather, glass and steel.

The first furniture was produced at furniture upholsterer Ivan Schechter, who also produced furniture for Poul Kjærholm, as Fabricius and Kastholm did not have an agreement with a manufacturer. After a Furniture Exhibition in 1965 in Fredericia, Denmark, the German manufacturer Alfred Kill made them an offer they could not refuse (Alfred Kill had given them several offers previoursly) – and the two designers moved to Stuttgart, Germany and Alfred Kill secured the rights to manufacture Fabricius & Kastholm’s designs. By 1966 Fabricius and Kastholm presented a complete furniture collection at an international Furniture Exhibition in Cologne, Germany. 10 large international furniture stores placed orders on furniture and thus started the huge success of Fabricius and Kastholm.

Among the most famous pieces is the FK 87 Grasshopper Chair (1965) and the FK bucket armchairs, which was awarded first German style prize for »Gute Form« (Good Shape) in 1969. Their exclusive furniture design can be seen at the Louvre, Paris and the MoMA, New York. In 1970 the two designers ended their professional partnership as a result of disagreements.

Kastholm moved back to Germany, after a few years in Denmark, and became professor at Bergische Universität, near Düsseldorf, Germany, where he taught furniture design and product development in the period 1975-1997. In this period, he also furnished 120 airports worldwide and opened two studios, one in Mallorca, Spain and one in Düsseldorf, Germany, where he spend his last years. Jørgen Kastholm died in 2007. Preben Fabricius died in 1984.

Since 2006, Lange Production in Denmark has had the exclusive rights to manufacture a variety of Fabricius & Kastholm’s design collection. The furniture is produced at the original factory, and with the original tools as it was in the 1960s. The entire production has been carried out in close collaboration between Lange Production and Jørgen Kastholm, to preserve and respect the authenticity and high quality of these classic designs. The German producer Walter Knoll also produce Fabricius and Kastholm furniture today.

Fabricius and Kastholm also designed lighting, like the Kastholm pendant produced by Nordisk Solar Compagni in 1964.

Brylle & Jacobsen

Behind the names Brylle and Jacobsen is a story of a life-long friendship between the Danish artist Flemming Brylle and the Danish industrial designer Preben Jacobsen, dating back to 1965. Together they established two successful lighting companies; Quality System and Brylle/Jacobsen Design.

The first lighting design by Brylle and Jacobsen was the Cosmo Light, a self-assembly lamp, cast in brightly colored polystyrol (a plastic material with very fine light-dispersing qualities). Brylle and Jacobsen designed a wide range of these self-assembly acrylic lamps in different shapes and colors, among others the Strips Light (as pendant and table lamp) and the Confetti Light. They also created the Moon light, a ball shaped light with metal suspension (produced as table lamp and as pendant).

The innovative Brylle and Jacobsen were quick to export their products, mainly to the European and American market, which meant that the products were more famous abroad than in Denmark in the 1970s. Their simple Scandinavian design with organic shapes had (and still do today) a broad international appeal. Some of the original designs were re-introduced in the 1990s and is produced today, such as the Strips pendant and table lamp.

Both Flemming Brylle and Preben Jacobsen is involved with Quality System and Brylle/Jacobsen Design today, as member of the Design boards.

Carl Fagerlund

The Swedish designer, Carl Gustaf Wilhelm Fagerlund is internationally recognized for his fabulous lighting designs at Orrefors Glassworks in the 1960-1970s.

His career started as drawing teacher after graduating the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, Sweden in 1943. After a short period as teacher, he was hired as lighting designer at a Swedish company manufacturing electrical light and generators.

In 1946 he became lighting designer at Orrefors Glassworks and stayed he until 1980. In this period, he designed some absolutely gorgeous crystal lights in different shapes and sizes, but often with amber / green outer shade and a thick clear inner shade with double faceted ornamentation. His wall lights are often characterized by thick yellow / champagned colored crystal glass.

Carl Fagerlund also designed lighting installations for public buildings, like Frederiksberg Town Hall and Hotel D’Angleterre, both in Copenhagen, Denmark, the headquarters of General Motors and the Kennedy Center in the US and the Swedish Embassy in Tokyo, Japan.

He exhibited in London, Paris, Berlin, Milan, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Lund, Gothenburg and Kalmar, and was a member of the Swedish Order of Freemasons.

Poul Cadovius

The Danish designer and manufacturer Poul Cadovius was one of the most colorful and successful personalities in Danish furniture history. He was an ambitious, adventurous and constantly seeking person – when not busy with designing and producing furniture, he drove racing cars or build luxury yachts at his own shipyard in Svendborg. Poul Cadovius managed to take out over 400 patents – the last as a 90-year old.

He was born in Frederiksberg in 1911 and originally trained as a saddler and upholsterer at his father’s company. In 1932 he started his own upholster company, while also assisting his father, who took ill during the 1930s. Around 1940 Cadovius became increasingly interested in industrial design, closed his company and took employment at a large wallpaper manufacturer, where he stayed on for some years.

In 1945 Cadovius embarked a new adventure and established his own furniture manufacturing company under the name of Royal System a/s. Three years later Cadovius had the revolutionary idea to design a floating, modular shelving system – the Royal System, the world’s first wall hung furniture system. The innovative idea was to maximize floor space and signify the end of conformity in shelving with many individual combinations and light styling. “Most of us live on the bottom of a cube. If we put the walls even with the floor, we get a lot of space to live on” was the mantra of Paul Cadovius.

The Royal System went on to win the gold medal at the Finland Furniture Fair in 1950 and silver medal at the XI Triennale di Milano 1957 and remained a hallmark of Mid Century modern design throughout the 1950s and ‘60s.

Around 1960 Poul Cadovius once again made a huge impact on the shelving area – he designed a freestanding modular based shelving system in metal with endless combinations and able be assembled without using tools or bolts – the System Abstracta. Cadovius expanded both in Denmark and abroad. Sometime between 1964 and 1967, Cadovius purchased the well-established furniture manufacturer France & Søn, credited with the industrialization of teak furniture production, and eventually renamed the company CADO. CADO collaborated with acclaimed and iconic Danish designers such as Grete Jalk, Finn Juhl, Sigvar Bernadotte, Edvard Kindt-Larsen, Ole Wanscher and Arne Vodder.

His minimalistic aesthetic is considered a perfect harmony between form and function – industrial and organic, affordable and elegant. Cadovius passed away in 2011 at the age of 99.

Knud Kyhn

Knud Kyhn was a Danish painter and sculptor. Growing up the artistic influence of his uncle, painter Wilhelm Kyhn, Knud Kyhn is admitted to the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, but drops out to receive teaching by Lauritz Tuxen. The paintings are often portraying animal life in different contexts.

His incredible pottery career starts in the early 2000th century, as Knud Kyhn begin working at the pottery of Karl Schroeder (in Northern Sealand). In 1904 Kyhn get sthe opportunity to present some of his cereamics to Arnold Krog, the creative director at Royal Copenhagen. Krog is very impressed by the ceramics and hires Kyhn right away.

Knud Kyhn worked at Royal Copenhagen for several periods: 1904-1910, 1924-1932 and 1936-1968. In between he developed his skills by working at Bing & Grøndahl (1908-1915, 1933-1935) and Herman A Kähler (1920-1924). At Kähler he met the painter Julie Bloch, to whom he married in 1922. In 1936 the two of them started a small pottery, from where design in his own name were sold.

His stoneware figurines, featuring very naturalistic animals with fine details, became one of the largest figurines successes of Royal Copenhagen. Especially the brown glazed bear figurines were popular and in the 1980s additional pieces were redesigned by Kyhn’s younger colleague Jeanne Grut.

Rasmus Harboe

Rasmus (Gunnersen) Harboe was a Danish sculptor, credited with a wide range of statues, sculptures and wall plaques. In 1887 he studied under Norwegian sculptor Stephan Sinding together with a couple of other young aspiring sculptors at Amalienborg in Copenhagen. By 1890 the students rented two studios for a year in Paris – one for them self and one for their teacher, Sinding. During this time Harboe created a large marble sculpture, featuring a sitting boy with a flute, exhibited in 1892 at the Salon in Paris, and the following year in at Charlottenborg in Denmark. After returning from Paris he was contracted to create the front of the new City Hall in his home town, Skælskør. The result was creamic wall plaques and a large ceramic Justitia sculpture with elements of metal – a very innovative move around the turn of the 20th century.

During a stay in Italy in 1898 to 1899, he was decisively influenced by the Italian Renaissance sculptures and Greek art. As he returned, he created large marble statues portraying characters form the Roman and Greek mythology, such as the Harcules Fountain at Vesterbro Torv in Copenhagen (1913-1915).

In the period 1907 to 1920 Harboe collaborated with architects such as Martin Nyrop, Hack Kampmann and Martin Borsch in creating reliefs and statues to compliment the architecture.

Rasmus Harboe withdrew after the death of his wife in 1936 – no work is known from last 30 years of his life.

We have come across his work from his time at Aluminia, the Danish faience factory. Harboe worked on/off at Aluminia in the period 1903-1930, and is credited with a large number of plates and figurines, among a set of four figurines based on based on the commedia dell’arte characters featured (then as now), at the Pantomime Theater, in Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen.