This week I was very lucky to meet with Finn Bruun, overseer of table making at Snedkergaarden in Denmark. Danish furniture has come to symbolise the almost lost world of fine craftsmanship, where making a chair completely by hand is not out of the question, but considered something to aspire to.
In Denmark, there is a strong relationship between nature and everyday living; where sustainability is front of mind, where forests form a significant part of the landscape and are entwined with peoples lives. A great example being ‘skovbørnehave‘ – kindergarden held in the forest, whatever the weather and with little concern for ‘health and safety’. It is no surprise then, in a country that holds these things in high regard that there is a oneness with natural materials and the attentive process in Danish furniture making.
Snedkergaarden is a furniture making factory in a small town in central Denmark called ‘Them’. They represent esteemed designers such as Nanna Ditzel, Anders Nørgaard, Niels Jørgen. They are also the joiners entrusted to making the iconic Johansen Table, designed by Mads Johansen in 2009.
This is the sort of furniture that is made for life, made with such respect for the materials; made slowly and precisely, there can never be a rush to the finish, otherwise the craftsmanship is unnecessarily compromised.
The table was inspired by the lines of the curves of a suspension bridge. Each table is made with planks of wood, chosen and turned by one man only: Erik Skovgaard. Every piece for each table is carefully selected by Erik to create a beautiful flow. It is a time consuming process, long but not laborious. This is the sort of furniture that is made for life, made with such respect for the materials; made slowly and precisely, there can never be a rush to the finish, otherwise the craftsmanship is unnecessarily compromised.
It was truly inspiring to listen to Finn, so very passionate about keeping these traditions alive in a world full of fast-made furniture, made with inferior materials that have a very short life span. This is the kind of passion that has disappeared from many areas of manufacturing, as we have adapted to a world that demands quantity over quality.
But listening to Mr Brunn, you cannot help but feel hopeful that the current trends will be reversed, and that in the future, we will again be making objects that will be treasured.