For those who’ve been following my travels on Instagram, you’ll have seen that I recently returned from Denmark. A place that I have been longing to travel to, especially since launching my blog five years ago, it exceeded all of my expectations. Now firmly cemented in my mind and heart, Copenhagen encompasses the very best in design, and I was enthralled by the beauty, architecture and history. But I was equally blown away by the wonderful people I met. Warm, welcoming and incredibly humble, this was apparent from my first meeting with Lisa Kjær Jensen, the PR & Communications manager for at Erik Jørgensen. Picking me up from the airport, Lisa drove me to Svendborg, where I would spend the night at the most idyllic seaside setting before heading to Copenhagen for the rest of my stay in Denmark. Located on the island of Funen, Svendborg is where the production house for Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik is based. Very excited to be given a tour, it was great to gain insight into the company, and a look behind the scenes prior to attending their new showroom opening later that week.
The photo above shows a peek inside ‘The Office’. One of the stunning new spaces inside the new showroom showcasing the incredible Ox chair, I’ll be sharing plenty more in the next post. The Erik Jørgensen brand was founded in Denmark in 1954 by trained upholsterer and saddler, Erik Jørgensen. The collection consists of well known classics from Hans J. Wegner and Poul M.Volther as well as new furniture produced in collaboration with new young designers. From the early days, Erik was in high demand from the local community for his expertise as an upholsterer and he went on to develop a small sofa collection in the 1960s and 1970s. With a focus on craftsmanship, quality and aesthetics, the second-generation family-owned company continues to be known today for its high quality and upholstery expertise.
When Erik Jørgensen passed away in 1998, his sons Niels and Ole Jørgensen took over the company and began forming new design partnerships. An important part of the brands DNA that has continued to this day, Erik Jørgensencollaborates with many young designers including Louise Campbell, Tine Mouritsen, GamFratesi, Andersson & Voll and Anne Lorenzen. I had the pleasure of meeting the brothers during my stay, and it was wonderful seeing how they have carried on their father’s heritage. At Svendborg I enjoyed chatting to Ole and Lisa about how the company has evolved while drinking coffee and eating delicious ‘Brunsviger’, a traditional cake of Funen. Ole also kindly took me on the production tour. Here’s a look behind the scenes.
The production tour allowed me to see first hand how Erik Jørgensen creates furniture designed to last. The leathers and most of the fabrics are measured and cut by hand by the talented production team, ensuring absolute precision. Only pure block colour fabric is cut on the machine. If there is even a slight pattern in the material they are cut by hand to ensure it is done perfectly.
I was particularly blown away by the skilled expertise of those working with the beautiful leathers. As I showed previously, the leathers are first cut by hand. At the same time they are checked closely for any markings, as even the most minuscule ones must be removed. The photos above show how the incredible stitching detail is applied the Delphi sofa. Designed by the Swiss designer Hannes Wettstein in 2007, the sofa features the craftsmanship and minimalistic design that is the epitome of a true Erik Jørgensen sofa.
The images above show two of the Erik Jørgensen classics in production. A true testament to the brand’s upholstery expertise and attention to detail, the Corona seams are being stitched by hand. This chair became a classic a long time ago and has appeared in numerous films, fashion editorials and music videos. Poul M. Volther was inspired by the human anatomy when he designed the Corona and despite looking light, it is actually as strong as a spine. The Ox chair is one of Hans J. Wegner’s more humorous designs. While designing the piece in 1960 he said “We must be careful not to take things too seriously. We must play but we must be serious about playing! “ Hans J. Wegner designed over 500 chairs and the Ox chair remained one of his favourites. He had one in his living room and enjoyed it for the rest of his life.
A look at some of the newer designs and two of my personal favourites, the Eyes Arm chair designed by Foersom & Hiort-Lorenzen (top image) is ready for packaging and delivery. Made from moulded polyurethane foam, I really enjoyed watching the upholstery process which involves the chair being placed in a very high temperature machine to seal the fabric. The buttons ‘eyes’ and legs are then attached. Another highlight was seeing the Shuffl sofa by Anne Boysen come to life. I absolutely love the colour and corner detailing.
The beautiful modular sofa was showcased during 3daysofdesign at the Erik Jørgensen Contract showroom alongside the incredible installation from Wallpaper*Handmade ‘Portal’, a collaboration with Snønhetta.
Niels & Ole Jørgensen
Keep following as next up I will be sharing the beautiful new Erik Jørgensen showroom in Copenhagen!