In 2010 The Danish Cabinetmakers Association made a big exhibition with 28 different amazing containers of Precious objects. I was a part of the group of members that organized this exhibition which also had invited guests from Japan, France, Sweden and Australia.
Introduction from the exhibition catalogue by Curator Christian Holmsted Olesen
The exhibition ’My precious’ is a declaration of love for carpentry. 28 cabinetmakers from Denmark, Sweden, France, Japan and Australia have tried to produce a most precious thing in wood. With the task of creating storage for their most precious belonging, they have challenged each other and themselves. The project has been a long process where the carpenters have met to discuss each other’s technical problems and learn from each other.
’My Precious’ is a project created by the Danish Cabinetmakers Association, who in the past 17 years have been struggling to strengthen and continue the good Danish carpentry craft. Denmark has a unique cabinetmaking tradition, which goes several hundred years back. Among other things, it became the basis of an internationally famed furniture art marketed with the brand Danish Design in the middle of the 20th century. Copenhagen’s master cabinetmakers every year in close cooperation with the leading furniture architects of the day presented the furniture we today consider Danish furniture classics at the Danish Museum of Art & Design. It was furniture created on the terms of the craft and many of the architects were trained carpenters themselves.
Just like the cabinetmaking craft, Danish design puts particular focus on the refinement of the detail. It is about the right joining of the wood or treatment of the surface. Wood is an organic material with endless possibilities for use, and this gives the opportunity for many different kinds of sensations. The cabinetmaker knows that his piece has to attract the attention of the eye, but also that next, the brain should wish to examine whether the surface really is that smooth with the sense of touch. The sense of smell tells you whether it is a natural material, and as an extra gift the sense of hearing gets the seductive sound that is made when you move the parts on the piece – a titillating click or the swishing of a drawer closing.
The ambitious carpenter will boast, not with words, but by impressing and surprising our senses. The same intention is behind the storage furniture, which up through history has been worked up in endless ways with the intention of attracting curiosity. Really, the box or the chest is the most primitive of all types of furniture – a space for storing precious and dear objects. On the outside the storage furniture has since Egyptian furniture art been the object of free and rich artistic endeavours – an object, which gives the intelligent craftsman the opportunity of showing what he can do. On the inside it is full of excitement. What does in contain? Ingenious constructions are pulled out and secret functions and mechanisms are triggered. At this exhibition both the storage furniture, the cabinetmaking craft and the most precious belonging of the carpenter are treasures.
Otto Busses Vej 31, Bygn. OBV100 2450 Copenhagen Denmark