A couple of weeks ago we had a workshop with Ola Hansson from Carl Malmsten school of furniture. The subject was soap and soft soap.
In short soap is made from a compound of fat and alkali. When you add an alkali to a fat it cleaves and separates the fat acids from the glycerin. The fats then unite with the alkali and forms soap.
This was a much more complicated procedure than what we expected and as no one of us had any earlier successful experience this was much like finding your way in I pitch black room.
Soap can be used as a surface treatment for wood and gives the surface a very smooth surface. From soap you can also make a soap lacquer which is something we are very interested in knowing more about so if anyone have any information about this please don’t hesitate to contact me at Martin[a]lithlithlundin.se
Ola came to us well prepared with a compendium of information about the history and the chemistry of soap and a selection of different recipes for making soap. He also brought a variety of different soaps so we had some idea of what to aim for. Skansens byalag (Skansens village community) has a vast experience in soapmaking and we had Siv on speed dial when questions that we could not find the answer to appeared. One of the conclusions from this workshop is that we will apply to one of their soap making courses to get a idea of how this is done.
As we tried to work with only natural and locally sourced materials we used old recipies where it became clear that we did not have the previous knowledge needed. For example, one of the recipes said “boil until the soap maker feels that the right color and consistency is reached”.
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.