There is no disputing it, he is the Grand Daddy, The Godfather of Danish Design. Hans J Wegner!. With an almost limitless design catalogue one can see why. A true original never probably to be surpassed.
Hans Jørgen Wegner, (April 2, 1914 - January 26, 2007), was one of the most innovative and prolific of all Danish furniture designers that made mid-century Danish design internationally popular. His work belongs to a modernist school that preserves function. He is probably best known for his many chairs of genuine craftmanship.
He worked as an assistant to Erik Møller and Arne Jacobsen until 1943, helping on their design for the Århus Town Hall, and adding some of his own furniture. In 1943 he opened his own office and came out with the Chinese chair which, along with his 1949 "Round" chair would provide the basis for many of his later chairs.
Interiors magazine, in America, put the Round chair on the cover in 1950 and called it 'the world's most beautiful chair,' catapulting Wegner into international fame and sparking a profitable export market. It became known simply as,The Chair and began making high profile appearances like the televised 1961 presidential debates between Nixon and Kennedy . Of the design Wegner said, "many foreigners have asked me how we made the Danish style. And I've answered that it...was rather a continuous process of purification, and for me of simplification, to cut down to the simplest possible elements of four legs, a seat and combined top rail and arm rest."
While "the Chair" is the probably the chief icon of Wegner's career, and a form that he revisits often, he is responsible for a number of other designs. He and Johannes Hansen exhibited a joint project at the Cabinetmakers show every year from 1941-66, Wegner claiming that it was "more like a game...we had to have something to display every autumn." His own chair designs from those decades, manufactured primarily today by PP Møbler, were made with the modern, sculptural idea that they could stand on their own, rather than as parts of a furniture set. The Peacock chair from 1947, with a slatted back rest fanning out to evoke the bird's plume, was inspired by the traditional "Windsor" chair. His 1949 Folding Chair hung on the wall, and his Shell chair from the same year experimented with curving the wood in three dimensions to form the seat. The multi-purpose Valet Chair, designed in 1953, had elements for hanging up or storing each piece of a Mans Suit. The backrest is carved to be used as a coat hanger, pants can be hung on a rail at the edge of the seat and everything else can be stowed in a storage space underneath the seat.
Inspired by classical portraits of Danish merchants sitting in Ming chairs, Wegner created series of chairs that helped establish Denmark as an international leader of modern design. Of this seies the Wishbone Chair is widely considered to be his most successful design.
In the early 1960s he came out with several variations on the Bull chair which came with or without horns, and was a fine example of the line Wegner could masterfully walk between elegance and playfulness. "We must take care," he once said, "that everything doesn't get so dreadfully serious. We must play - but we must play seriously." In his later years he continued to design chairs and has also worked with lighting, such as the Pole lamp created in 1976 with his daughter Marianne. A true craftsman, Wegner stated that, "the chair does not exist. The good chair is a task one is never completely done with."
World renowned for blending a variety of natural material in his classic designs, Hans Wegner has received many international accolades for his work, among them : "the Triennale" 1951, 1954 and 1957; "Royal Society of Arts" London 1959; "Citations of Merit" Pratt Institute, New York 1959 and the "International Design award", New York, 1957.
In June 1997 Wegner was awarded an Honary Doctorate by the The Royal College of Art in London.
Hans J. Wegner died in Copenhagen 26th January 2007 at the age of 92. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
I started collecting these bowls when I bought one in a carboot once. The one I have in the kitchen is massive and is just so beautiful to look at. The range is called 'Northern Lights' and was designed for the glass firm Humppila. They came in clear, green, red and blue and in different sizes.
Tauno Wirkkala , died 2005, born in Finland, a brother of famous Tapio Wirkkala, is known as the versatile genius of design.
Humppila Glass is part of Iittala group.
Humppila Glass is conveniently situated on Route 2 in the middle of the picturesque Häme countryside. It is easy to stop off there on your way from Helsinki to Pori. For even the most rushed traveller, the efficient and well cared for Humppila Glass is the place to take a peep at the fascinating world of glass.
A true best of British is Robert Heritage, beautiful and dateless designs using the most expensive materials of the day. Retailed by Heals what more can you ask for. Robert Heritage was born in Birmingham, England, on 2 November 1927. He studied at Birmingham College of Art (1942-46) and the Royal College of Art, London (1942-51). He then worked as designer for the London-based furniture manufacturer G.W. Evans (1951-53). In 1953 Heritage set up his own studio with his wife, Dorothy Heritage [formerly Dorothy Shaw] who had also studied at the RCA. He subsequently worked as a designer and consultant for a number of manufacturers including G.W. Evans [with Dorothy Heritage), Beaver & Tapley, Shannon, Slumberland, Race Furniture and Archie Shine. In addition to his work as a furniture designer, Heritage has also designed lighting for Concord, Rotaflex, GEC and Tecnolyte, stainless steel cutlery for Yote Manufacturing Company, and clocks for Smiths Industries and English Clock Systems. Heritage taught at Twickenham School of Art, London (1953-55) and was professor of furniture design at the Royal College of Art (1974-85). He was made a Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) by the Royal Society of Arts in 1963 and was a Fellow of the Society of Industrial Artists and Designers (FSIAD). DESIGN RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS ©Robert Heritage
Robert Heritage first worked with Gordon Russell in 1969, and was responsible for the GR69 range a group of furniture for both living and dining room areas.
He subsequently designed a range of modular upholstered seating for public areas. Heritage for Heals
Robert Heritage's latest work for Heals - a rosewood dining-room range - is an amalgam of well considered design with first class materials and workmanship. Report he Ilse Gray, photographs by Mike Goss.
The newest furniture to emerge from Heal's Islington factory is a range by Robert Heritage to be put on the market in July. Although commissioned by Heal Furniture, Robert Heritage preferred to work without an initial brief. The total shape of the units has come purely from the structure - for instance, the curves on which the tambour runs most smoothly has determined the depth of the cabinet. For convenience, the pieces are described as a dining-room range, but the Units are designed for use anywhere in the house and would be equally at home in the living-room or bedroom. Also it is hoped to make the range available in ash or beech as well as rosewood - and mahogany and to extend the number of pieces. Mr Heritage is also designing a matching chair.
The range at present consists of a dining-table and a series of three roll-top storage units, available as free-standing cabinets or in a one, two or three unit combination. The table is made of solid rosewood and has a folding and sliding central extension leaf. It measures 3 ft x 4 ft 6 in closed (6 ft 6 in open) and is 2 ft 4.5 in high. The storage units are 2 ft 6 in x 1 ft 8 in deep with an overall height of 2 ft 10 in. They are made of solid rosewood with a dark-stained mahogany tambour roll-top and backs and interiors finished in white plastics laminate. The bureau unit has two drawers, white pigeonholes and pull-out rosewood writing-shelf. Of the other two units, one is for drinks, the other is an open carcass with an optional shelf. Cabinet handles are of black leather.
Both table and units are available with a choice of two base frames. Either dark-stained mahogany T-shaped legs and cross pieces, or - the more successful solution of the two - bent tubular steel legs set into a wooden base, also with wooden cross pieces. In the case of the cabinet each leg is bent into a U-shape from one piece of tubular steel, whereas the table legs are made from two bent tubes. In both cases the tube is fixed by bolting through and there is no welding involved. The roll-top openings on the storage units, apart from being attractive to look at and making a pleasant change from sliding or hinged doors, have the advantage of unrestricted access from front and top. The table base does not get in the way of legs and allows for unrestricted seating.