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Copenhagen Design Tour 2019 with Georg Jensen | Part One


Last week I travelled all the way to Copenhagen for a Design Tour with Georg Jensen and Garde Hvalsøe. Over the course of an inspiring and immersive two days during my week-long stay, we gained unique insight into the brands by seeing first-hand how the products are crafted. We also visited two different, but equally incredible Danish homes. Sharing the highlights over several posts, today I'm starting with our visit to the Georg Jensen headquarters. 

Staying at well-loved Copenhagen hotel SP34, we were transported to Georg Jensen and welcomed by the CEO, Francesco Pesci. This was followed by an exploration of the archives, where we were taken through a timeline of products showcasing the brand's history, spanning more than 100 years.

It was fascinating to learn about Georg Jensen, an apprentice goldsmith and sculptor, who went on to make silver his way of living. Establishing his smithy in Copenhagen in 1904 with the highest standards of fine craftsmanship, Georg Jensen has attracted some of the greatest artists and produced many iconic designs over the years. From Henning Koppel, Arne Jacobsen, to Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe and Patricia Urquiola, these partnerships helped push the boundaries and establish the brand as a place brimming with ideas. A tradition kept on after the death of Georg Jensen in 1935 to this very day, the studio has become home to a company of extraordinarily talented silversmiths and metalworkers, jewellers, designers and artists.

Beautiful pieces from the archives, including the original Bangle Watch by Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe and the iconic Henning Koppel Pitcher 

We then visited the Smithy, where all the magic happens. Watching the silversmiths at work, we experienced first-hand the incredible skill and artistry required to create the intricate pieces. I was particularly intrigued to learn about the creation of commissioned pieces that are interpreted and brought to life from the study of original archive drawings.

Details from the Smithy 

After a delicious lunch of Smørrebrød, the traditional Danish open-faced sandwiches, we were introduced to the new Georg Jensen Helix Collection, ahead of this week's exciting launch. Designed by Swedish design agency Bernadotte Kylberg, founded in 2012 by Carl Philip Bernadotte and Oscar Kylberg, the duo are known for creating timeless design from the highest quality materials. We were lucky to have Oscar travel from Sweden to give a captivating presentation about the exquisite Helix collection, which consists of a Thermo Jug, Tea Pot, Milk Jug, Bonbonnierre and Tray. Oscar explained that the collaboration began with a simple brief centred around 'coffee', however the two-year design process was anything but simple. From how much reflection the steel produces and shape of the handles to ensure little effort is required when pouring, to the thermal functionality and exact length of pour to avoid heat escaping, every detail undergoes extensive research and testing to produce the final end result. 
Product moulds, drawings and the Helix Collection 

Oscar explained that the collection is designed to be practical, rather than ornamental. An honest design that captures the essence of Georg Jensen's signature organic shapes in a modern, Scandinavian way, he says the pieces correlate to one another as a family, each with their own function and personality. And as with all Georg Jensen products, the Helix Collection is designed with permanence in mind.

Oscar Kylberg presenting the new Helix Collection

The beautiful Helix collection by Bernadotte Kylberg for Georg Jensen

Next up was our first House visit of the Design Tour, at the incredible home of Thomas Schlosser Svendsen. Owner of Copenhagen store Klassik, and an avid collector of Danish furniture, lighting and art, Thomas's home features an enviable curation of pieces. Here's a peek inside.

Photography by Michelle Halford for TDC

While enjoying afternoon tea and coffee served in the Helix Collection (of course!) we were permitted to take photos of the house and needless to say I went a little crazy. So much so, I'll be following up with a separate blog post of the house tour, before sharing the second day of the Design Tour with Garde Hvalsøe. Stay tuned! 

This post was created in collaboration with Georg Jensen. I only work with products I love and all opinions are my own. For more information please visit my About Page.

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