Bagsider / Flip Sides

 

For the Golden Days Festival this year the theme was The B-sides of History so, for this exhibition, the curators at Statens Museum for Kunst took that literally and present the backs of paintings and drawings in their collection.

And it is fascinating.

read more

the exhibition continues at Statens Museum for Kunst until 10 March 2019

 

restoration II - the forecourt of the design museum

 

Work continues at Designmuseum Danmark where the entrance gates, railings and stone piers along the street are being rebuilt and the setts of the forecourt relaid to form a new ramp to replace the steps up to the front entrance door and to install lighting and so on for new outdoor exhibition cases. 

The project - designed by the architectural practice COBE - includes a new ticket area, book shop and new cafe in the lower part of the old pharmacy … that’s the pavilion to the right of the forecourt.

 

As new blocks of stone have been brought to the site and set up, the work is an opportunity to see some of the details of 18th-century stone masons’ techniques that have been replicated … so it is possible to see the way bold mouldings are cut across large blocks to form plinths and caps to the piers.

The large ashlar blocks of the stone piers and the blocks that form the moulded bases and caps are dressed back with strong vertical tooling which contributes a distinct surface texture and gives a darker tone to the architectural details. Note how at each end of the ironwork screen the outer piers are not butted against the brickwork of the pavilions but are set into them which would suggest that the brickwork and stonework were built up at the same time … not one built against the other.

top left - the door into the former pharmacy of the hospital which will be the access to a new arrival space with ticket desk, book shop and new cafe. Note the silhouette in the brickwork of the ball finial and moulded cap of the stone pier that has been dismantled.

top centre - an iron pintel, set into the stonework of the pier, that will hold the strap of the lower hinge of the gate

 

Heavy spiked or barbed railings and the ornate iron gates are held in sockets cut into the blocks.

At this stage the gates are back on site but are on pallets so it is possible to see the robust quality of the iron work and to see how the straps of the gate hinges form a loop that will be dropped over hefty iron ‘pintels’ set into the stonework. 

This major project has also been an opportunity to repair some of the stonework on the entrance front of the main building and it is interesting to see around the doorway that although the stone frame or architrave of the door looks hefty or robust, it is, in fact, made up with relatively thin slips of stone with pieces forming the moulded front and separate pieces forming the reveal or jamb running back to the door frame and the brickwork behind is surprisingly crude.

 
 

restoration I

Work is progressing on a major project to restore the famous Nyboder houses in Copenhagen. These long terraced rows, with cobbled streets and narrow yards between the rows, cover a large block in the north-east part of the historic centre of the city within the old city defences  … so south and west of Kastellet - the fortress or citadel - and close to Østerport railway station that is on the site of the old east gate.

The first of the rows were built in the 1630s and 1640s at the instigation of Christian IV for naval personnel and were single storey but with attic rooms. More rows - the two-storey terraces - were constructed in the middle of the 18th century and the last houses, in grey brick, date from the very end of the 19th century.

The houses from the 17th and 18th centuries were built in pale-yellow brick but given an external wash of lime with deep ochre pigment but this wash has just been removed so the brickwork can be repaired and, where necessary, repointed.

Stripped of this ochre wash, the facades reveal important archaeological evidence to show clearly how window and door openings were constructed. There were no obvious lintels but lines of headers above the windows so, almost certainly, the timber frame of the floor structure would have been set out to take the weight and outward thrust of the roof to prevent the outer walls bowing out or the ground-floor openings failing under the weight of the brickwork and roof above. 

In contrast, more precise coursing in historic brickwork can be seen in a house on Wilders  Plads in Christianshavn with alternate rows of different colours of brick so that brickwork was clearly built to be exposed and left without render. The Nyboder brickwork is not of the same quality so the houses must have been covered and protected with was of lime and pigment from the start.

It is also clear that by using lime wash - rather than a thicker and smooth coat of render - the final surface is not just more resilient - as each thin layer is applied, the lime oxidises and bonds to the stone or brick it covers - but the visible and slightly irregular brickwork gives a texture to the surface that seems to make the colour deeper … modern brickwork, in contrast, seems mechanical and flat or, if anything, dull.

more images and historic map of Nyboder

Dansk Møbelkunst at CHART DESIGN FAIR

 

Dansk Møbelkunst are one of twelve galleries exhibiting at Den Frie in Copenhagen for CHART DESIGN FAIR. They showed some superb and unusual or rare modern furniture and, as always, of the very highest quality. There was a pair of chairs designed by Kaare Klint in 1931 and called Mix. Edvard Kindt- Larsen may have collaborated in the design of these leather-covered arm chairs that were produced first by the cabinetmaker N C Jensen Kjær and then by Rud. Rasmussen.

Also shown was one of the high-backed chairs designed by Arne Jacobsen for the top table in the hall of St Katherine’s College in Oxford and a set of three of the bed-side drawer units originally in the Royal SAS Hotel in Copenhagen.

Den Frie

Dansk Møbelkunst

 
 
L1290431.jpg
 

LOKAL at CHART DESIGN

 

The Finnish gallery LOKAL were at CHART DESIGN at Den Frie. They showed several pieces by the company Nikari who have their workshops in the historic settlement of Fiskars to the west of Helsinki.

Edi Table by the Norwegian design studio Claesson Koivisto Rune was designed in 2015; the Café Skandi stool by Kari Virtanen is from the same year and from 2009 the Nikari Linea Chair is by the Swiss-born designer, carpenter and teacher Rudi Merz.

Nikari were established in the 1960s and have built up a reputation for making furniture of the very highest quality. They follow the well-established practice of cabinetmakers in Copenhagen in that they work closely in partnership with a number of the best designers on specific projects and these will certainly be the collectors’ pieces of the coming decades. However, furniture should be chosen because you really like it and it fits with what you want for your home … good furniture used everyday enhances our lives. If furniture holds its value or even appreciates then that is surely just a bonus?

Looking at the Linea chair carefully you can see features and details of the techniques of the carpenter that are distinct from Danish designs and these differences are important … marketing furniture from the Nordic countries in a co-ordinated campaign, where possible, does make sense, but only if it does not erode the distinctions that give the different designers and the different companies their personalities and clearly discernible styles. To produce a generic ‘Nordic style’ could, in essence, be done by any designer anywhere but nurturing distinct national talent gives the ‘brand’ - if that is what you want - a stronger and a much more dynamic future.  

Nikari

Finders Keepers - 25th and 26th August

 

 

This weekend - on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th August - the design market Finders Keepers is at Øksnehallen - the main building at the city end on the old Meat Market in Copenhagen. This is a great chance to see and to buy the work from some of the best small independent design companies.

There are food stalls on the square at the front of the market building.

Finders Keepers

 
 

ORBIT at Design Werck in Copenhagen

 

 

 

 

 

 

On show at Design Werck in Copenhagen is a major work from the cabinetmakers Mette Bentzen and Lasse Kristensen of Egeværk.

It is hanging sculpture - a globe with a diameter of 1.8 metres - that is deceptively simple but with 14 perfectly cut, curved and finished ribs in walnut that are slotted together at the top and bottom where they are held with a key piece in maple.

Suspended from the ceiling but with the axis set at an angle of 23.5 degrees, ORBIT twists slowly to throw shadows across itself and across the floor.

This is an amazing combination of imagination and consummate skill for a simple geometric form but with a complex and precise construction making maximum use of the grain, colour and character of the wood.

Design Werck

Egeværk

 

Kunsthåndværkermarkedet / The Craft Market on Frue Plads in Copenhagen

 

 

For the next three days, the annual craft market will be on Frue Plads - the square next to the cathedral in Copenhagen.

Organised by Danske Kunsthåndværkere & Designere / The Danish Association of Craft Workers and Designers, this is an opportunity to see and to buy some of the very best ceramics, glass and textiles made in Denmark.

Thursday 9 August 12 - 19
Friday 10 August 10 - 19
Saturday 11 August 10 - 16

 

Flammespor / Scorched traces - ceramics by Charlotte Nielsen

 

 

Ceramic works by Charlotte Nielsen that are fired using raku techniques that traditionally means rapid firing at a high temperature and rapid cooling so the fired clay takes on the colours and the sharp look of weathered and rusted iron. These incredible pieces are inspired by ironwork with ribs and spirals that make the pieces look like worn machine parts. 

 

Officinet
Danske Kunsthåndværkere & Deignere
Bredgade 66
14 July until 18 August 2018