If you thought the silver lining of this summer’s rain clouds was this recent warm spell, then think again!
During the month of August at the flagship store of the world-famous Georg Jensen at Amagertorv Square in central Copenhagen, a silversmith will be dropping by every Friday afternoon to deliver a five-hour demonstration of amazing craftsmanship.
It’s a unique opportunity to appreciate the inner workings of an iconic brand that has been globally synonymous with Danish design for over a century.
The silversmiths have trained for four years as artisans to learn their craft, and on a recent visit to their workshop, it was fascinating to get so close to the process and to be able to appreciate the detail and precision required to produce each design.
As well as the close-up demonstration, the silversmiths discussed their passion for a craft passed down from generation to generation, the technical skill required to form the pieces and the process of bringing designs to fruition, from paper to silver. The silversmith craft is laborious. One silver platter takes approximately ten months to complete, executed with countless targeted hammer strokes, each requiring perfection.
The piece de resistance is the custom-made table: a collaboration between Georg Jensen and the acclaimed Hørsholm-based designer and cabinet maker Laura Bergsøe’s. Using 6,000-year-old bog oak and elm wood, Bergsøe collaborated with the silversmiths to take moulds of the oak surface and fill sections of the pitted surface area with solid silver for the appearance of “silver floating in the veins of a tree, bubbling out of holes and cavities”. The innovative design of the table is an impressive work of art, which is fitting for the store and well worth seeing.
An aladdin’s cave
Whether or not you’re a lover of Danish design, it’s impossible not to be impressed by the gleaming collections on display and the newly renovated store. Every minute detail in the headquarters could be described as the stylistic excellence you’d expect from the design institution: from the custom-made Ege magnolia patterned carpets and the long sleek Finn Juhl exhibiting table, to the unique Vibeke Skar porcelain ‘knitwear-inspired’ lamps illuminating the collection.
Visitors also have the opportunity to learn about the history of Danish design on a tour that includes a rare display of silverware pieces designed and crafted by Georg Jensen himself, displaying his talent as both an artist and craftsman. Jensen’s work sits alongside master craftsman Harald Nielsen’s work from the early 1900s and Sigvard Bernadotte, the ‘Design Prince of Sweden’, from the same era.
The store holds an array of beautiful vintage Georg Jensen pieces, sourced from private collectors over the last decade. The second level displays two leather chairs and antique mahogany furniture cabinets from Georg Jensen’s original store in 1908. The varied collection features silver pieces and jewellery from the past century, providing a visual story of the evolution of Danish design, from art nouveau to contemporary.