From the start Lith Lith Lundin has been working with linseed oil.
When we did our first inventory of our 50 km radius we were certain that someone within our circle was growing flax. The Gästrikland and Hälsingland countys are considered classic flax ground, Hälsingland in particular, and the landscape flower of Hälsingland is flax.
After some research we could not find anyone that still were growing flax, we heard of someone that had gowned it a couple of years ago and someone that had the machinery for it but had lost interest in it and stopped.
After a good amount of research we came to the conclusion that we had to grow it ourselves.
This as linseed oil would be a key factor in the surface on our products, both as a natural surface and as an ingredient in our stains and colours.
As no one of us had any history in farming we had some practical problems to solve before we could get the seeds in the ground.
What kind of soil do you want to grow flax in?
How do you plow a field?
Would it be possible to fell the birch that is growing in the middle of the plow we found in a grove by our field?
Does anyone know the secret jerk that is needed to start the old tractor in the barn?
After some hassle we got the plow attached to the tractor and the carriage to the field that we had in mind for the flax.
We had some problems getting the plow fixed at a fixed height, it was moving either up or down. This was solved by having both Erik and Hannes in the tractor, Eric driving and Hannes minding the hydraulics to the plow.
Our farming neighbors was enthusiastic spectators and came with some very crucial tips and advices and we can’t really undervalue the help we have got.
Our first linseed field was sowed in May 2013 and after about 40 days we had a field in full blossom.
Flax flowers only blossom for one day so it’s a strong production of new flowers. After blossom it’s another 40 days until it’s time for harvest.
As the seeds should be loose in its capsule before harvest it could be a good idea to wait until you had some nights with frost before harvest, as we did.
Once again we got help from neighbors. Hans and Lasse came with a combine not too big for our field and we got the crops of the field in just about two hours. Usually when you harvest with a combine you use the first lengths to set up the combine’s fans and screens. Our field was too small to be able to do this so we closed the screens and had fans at a minimum. This gave us linseed with a lot of debris in it.
To solve this we have built a small cleaning system for linseeds using fans and screens from old combines and other machines.
After cleaning the linseeds we dried them. Our neighbor’s grain dryer is much too big to be used so we ended up building a machine of our own again.
We used the same fans as in the cleaning machine and got it working quite well.
The video is from us testing the machine in the workshop, still tuning it a bit but you will get the idea of it.
The next step in the process is the pressing. A very kind man in Österfärnbo has a small oil press for flax and he pressed our first harvest.
After pressing we store the oil on bulk for a while to let some of the impurities to sediment.
After a couple of months on bulk storage we bottle the oil and let it sun bleach in one of our windows. This gives the room a fantastic light reflection!
Today we are launching three new products at the Formex-fair in Stockholm! The bench Spring, the candle holder Dawn and the light screen Filter. We hope that you like them! The will be up for sale on the homepage next week!
Spring is divided by a leather strap forming two sitting areas which encourages integration.
The slender, austere design in the frame is challenged by the arch creating a tension both in the construction and the design.
Dawn is a candle holder that in one piece embodies two different states of the same material.
During the manufacturing process the birch wood is ex- posed to heat which causes it to gradually transition into the more heat resistant charcoal. The natural tensions in the wood are also released making every piece unique.
Filter is found in the no-man’s-land between art and product design. With handmade paper every piece is unique and can be used as a light screen your window or a sculptural decoration.
Filter is solely made out of pine. The paper is crafted of the inner bark and the frame is made out of high quality pine wood. In this way Filter becomes a demonstrator of pine as a material and its characteristics.
A new store has opened in a old church in Gustavsberg, Stockholm. It is named Oldschool Hantverk and focuses on Swedish small-scale craftsmanship and environmental considerations. This is a true gem in the archipelago outside of Stockholm. With a far-reaching perspective on materials and manufacturing techniques this store holds a number of classics together with an impressive collection of contemporary design.
The founder, Martina Danielsson, has a background from Carl Malmsten furniture design in Stockholm. We had a quick talk with her where she explained the store and the story behind the store.
What drives you to open this store?
It is more fun to have a clean conscience for all products leaving the store to be used by PEOPLE in their HOME - and that’s my breeding ground for this concept. I believe that a retailer should take responsibility for their products, but the reality isn’t quite there. We should ask ourselves questions like - What are the furniture made of? How are they used and by whom? How long will they last and eventually how should we handle the residue? Contrary to conventional furniture stores with an imported range you see all the amazing artisans over the country struggling to survive. I figured that maybe you could combine the different segments. Artisanal craftmanship is usually locally and sustainable of its nature, the quality is top notch and it has a story. How does your background from Malmsten shine through in your work today? When I think about Malmstens today I see four programs that combined, represent the sustainability reform that we undergo in today’s society. Conservation and Upholstery carefully preserves furniture already made. The cabinet makers and upholsterers stands for high quality and traditional craftsmanship, which is durable and source material efficient. Design has the opportunity to create something new based on the traditional knowledge and expertise available in their network. All together the cooperation brings a sort of pride and humbleness towards the end product. I couldn’t have obtained the quality awareness I have today without going to Malmstens so I am grateful to have taken part of their education. How do you select which products to sell? Our range consists of both new and vintage furniture which is quite unique for a furniture store. We usually look at production and material when selecting vendors and products. It should be made in Sweden, of high quality and have that little extra something. By being selective you will end up with an interesting line of products rather than a ”quantity"-kind of store. Your home slowly comes together by the things you find and collect through life and time. It is the mixture of stories that makes it perfect and that is precisely how I would like to build my shop.
During the Stockholm Furniture and Light fair 2017 a new and very exiting store opened in Stockholm. It is called Austere@thisisalma and it is located in the lobby of the newly opened member office space This is Alma.
The store holds several design classics and also a part of our assortment which we are very proud of. The founder of This is Alma is Fredrik Carlström who also runs the concept store/showroom AUSTERE in Los Angeles where we also are featured.
If you are looking for great design the store is located at Nybrogatan 8 in Stockholm and if you are looking for any type of office in Stockholm, apply to This is Alma.