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Snickeriet

The new Swedish furniture line bears its own interpretation of Scandinavian design

by Richard Prime in Design on 09 May 2012

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The Scandinavian obsession with hallmarks of quality, attention to detail and hand-craft is embedded in the psyche of the region's people. Recent years have seen a return to the core ideals of its design-minded countries—Finland, Denmark and Sweden—as each redevelops its own distinct national identity. For interpretations of its native style, Sweden can now look to Stockholm-based furniture brand Snickeriet, an offshoot of the carpentry workshop of the same name. Much like fellow Swedish company Zweed, the Snickeriet collection aims to bring its designers and craftsman closer together. While the original Snickeriet will continue its existing commission business, the new venture opens up a higher level of craftsmanship to a younger audience with a zesty, provocative visual aesthetic and an unusual stand-alone approach to building a design collection.

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"As a designer or woodsman you're always looking for projects outside your comfort zone," explains founder Karl-Johan Hjerling. "The workshop is at the center of everything we plan to do with the new enterprise—from concept to production, all kept in the hands of pure craft. We can let each idea develop in a very pure form, seeking solutions as the need arises and solve them in-house."

Production is handled by artisans Gunnar Dahl and Karolina Stenfelt, who have already been significantly recognized in Sweden for notable pieces for TAF architects, Byredo perfumes and Note Design's jawdropping Soot. Rounding out the Snickeriet team are Hjerling and his design partner Karin Wallenbeck, who have cropped up recently with work for the likes of Swedish stalwarts Svenskt Tenn and Acne.

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In keeping with the one-off approach to its commission work, Snickeriet will create each piece as a single unit, rather than as part of a series or ongoing collection. "Advanced cabinet-making is often associated with 'older' furniture and classical aesthetics. We want to preserve this of course but also develop it and apply it to new forms of expression," says Dahl.

The initial four pieces—Havet, Frank, Verk and Fä (Sea, Frank, Work and Beast)—make expressive statements in this vein, boasting the kind of workmanship that pays homage to the roots of Swedish craft and exemplary skill while infusing each piece with an exciting, adventurous design narrative.

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An undulating, tactile piece, Havet's dark exterior hides a contrasting, clean inlay demonstrating perfectly Snickeriet's old-meets-new approach. The hacked, waved exterior is as painterly as it is sculptural.

Frank offers a slightly humorous take on the cupboard, certainly not a piece for the fainthearted but one which, like the brand itself, is not afraid to wear a sleeve of hearts. Laser-cut and etched plexiglass with brass detailing straddles a clean oiled maple frame. snickeriet-launch-7.jpg

Slim and athletic, the suspended Verk desk plays on proportional form. Poised on sharp steel legs the Verk also shows off a contrasting inlay.

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Rounding off the initial offering is Fä, the Beast lamp, which perhaps takes its name from the leather used in its construction. The richly lacquered pendant manages to convey simplicity and opulence at once.

Snickeriet launches 10 May 2012 at Nitty Gritty, which will show the pieces through the end of the month.

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