Making soap with Ola

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]

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”.

Lith Lith Lundin at Oldschool Hantverk

A new store has opened in a old church in Gustavsberg, Stockholm. With focus 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.

We are very happy to be a part of this store and if you have the opportunity to visit Oldschool Hantverk they are located at Skärgårdsvägen 14 in Gustavsberg. Opening hours are Monday to Friday 11.00-18.00 and Saturday and Sunday 11.00-17.00.

Lith Lith Lundin at This is Alma

During the Stockholm Furniture and Light fair 2017 a new and very exiting store opened in Stockholm. 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.


The Mycelium room

During the last couple of weeks Erik and Martin has been working hard on completing the "clean room" that we started to build ages ago. This to be able to further develop our work with mycelium. Mycelium is the roots of mushroom and we will try to use this as the binder in a construction. As some of you might know we have been working with mycelium before.

It all started out with our intern Sophie Thurner from the University of Applied Science in Dresden who provided us with the idea of using mycelium as the "binder" in a mixture of wooden sticks, sawdust, oatmeal and water. This to be able to "grow" any kind of shape and form and to use it as one of our materials. After the first test we have been putting the project on hold due to the initially quite high investments to get the growing environment as clean as we needed.
We have after this applied to a scholarship through Kulturbryggan and we now have the funds to create the environment and start growing mycelium. 

We have gotten a lot of help initially in this project and we would like to take the opportunity to thank Gunilla and AnnaKarin for their work and also Stefan Lysén for all the information and help regarding ventilation and filtration. Right now we are just completing the first batch of sterilizing all the equipment that we will use and also the first batch of mixture that the mycelium will grow in. This is done in a autoclave, a sort of high pressure cooker that steams the content and kills all the bacteria, spores of mold and other possible contamination.

After this we will introduce the mycelium to the mixture and hopefully we will soon see a growth.  In our room we have a permanent circulation of air that runs through filters. We also keep the room in a constant over pressure to avoid contamination from possible air coming in from leakages. On the outside of the room we have a dehumidifier and an air filter to avoid humid air filled with mushroom spores to spread in the house. In the room right now we have a temperature of just over 22 degrees Celsius and a humidity of 80% which is just about the environment that oyster mushroom thrives in.  As soon as we have some results from this we will share it with you and if you want some more frequent updates please follow us on Instagram @LithLithLundin