From classic to contemporary Danish company Georg Jensen has a rich history in silversmithing and craftsmanship. Beginning in 1904 as a small jewellery workshop in Copenhagen, Georg Jensen initiated the tradition of artistic collaborations. Designers and artists such as Rohde, Henning Koppel, Vivianna Torun Bülow- Hübe, Verner Panton, Patricia Urquiola are a handful of incredibly talented collaborators. This way of working became so successful for the company that designers and artists continue to collaborate today. Georg Jensen is now a globally recognised company (which I’m certain you are aware), granted By Royal Appointment to Her Majesty of Denmark, a company of great importance to Danish design and culture.
Here I take a look around Georg Jensen’s working studio in Copenhagen.
A highlight of my tour was to learn the history behind the Torun bangle designed by a feminist, rule-breaker and friend of Picasso, Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe (1927 – 2004). Here exhibited samples of her work including personal items from her workshop.
Vivianna began designing for Georg Jensen in 1967. She was already famous for being one of Sweden’s most celebrated post-war silversmiths. Not only a talented designer but a voice of women’s liberation, feminism, multiculturalism, diversity and equality. Torun became a breath of fresh air to the company. Making it equally hip and introducing a new artistic, youthful and timeless way of presenting silver.
“A piece of jewellery should be a symbol of love. It should enhance and move with the body so that it blends with you. It must not overwhelm, but enhance you. This is why it must be timeless. It shouldn’t matter if you are 17 or 87 years old.” – Vivianna Torun
With the high demand in orders and production I was very surprised to see the working studios making items to order by hand. I had presumed that I’d see a factory line with big machines and conveyor belts. In fact there was a vast expanse of traditional workshops. Benches, craftsmen and women working away, hammering and polishing silver with precision and expertise.
The hard work and long hours that go into each piece of Georg Jensen’s designs is astounding.
Alongside the incredible silversmith workshops, Georg Jensen have an archive area which is an incredibly special design archive. There’s over 100 years of history in this room with original sketches, samples, designs. Basically anything you need to know about the design evolution of the company.
Another area to the building were design studios! Where ideas become designs and prototypes. Even the prototype models had a minimalistic style that I was particularly drawn to. I’m sure you can see why.
Understanding how Georg Jensen honour tradition while collaborating with new designers and makers was eye opening. Quality, craftsmanship, tradition and timeless designs are words (and actions) that Georg Jensen truly live by.
*this tour was part of the design tour arranged by Fredericia and Georg Jensen. A huge thank you to both companies. #ScandiDesignTour2017