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Wooden whimsy

Rediscover the work of Danish designer Kay Bojesen and the pristine craftsmanship that makes it relevant to this day.

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Wooden whimsy

As with all the great things in life, from furniture, to food, to fashion; when the years pass and the seasons change, trends will come and go and we the purveyors will adjust accordingly. However, from time to time, a style will enter the stratosphere and remain in the consciousness of young and old, withstanding changed opinions and passing fads. Such is the case with Danish design, an elegantly simple means of creation, where form meets function without compromising on beauty.

A prime example of this esteemed craftsmanship is the work of Kay Bojesen, whose wooden figures and clever cutlery (he originally graduated as a silversmith in 1910 after completing his apprenticeship at Georg Jensen), has continued to remain relevant, and prized in the homes of many.

The genius of Bojesen’s designs lies in its simplicity and functionality. Says Creative Director Lesia Zuk (Bojesen passed away at the age of 72), “Kay Bojesen was one of the first Danish designers to embrace modern production techniques like pressed steel – consequently, he designed his cutlery series ‘Grand Prix’ for which he won the Triennal prize for in 1951. He was a functionalist in the purest sense of the word.”

In the 1930’s Bojesen began to work with wood, creating his beautifully carved pieces in line with his design beliefs; ensuring they were not exact replicas of real life, and that they were ‘round and soft and feel good in your hand’. In 1934 he developed the iconic Dog figurine, whose smooth lines and pristine craftsmanship has remained relevant to this day. From there he created monkeys, elephants, bears and zebras, all in the same exquisite style, and all made with careful precision.

Says Zuk, “Kay Bojesen was intrigued with animals. Many of the family holiday picture albums that we have from his grandchildren have numerous photos of animal life in the area where they vacationed… he loved children and children love animals. That was his idea with the famous monkey – it was originally designed as a coat hook for children to have in their nursery while they were away from their parents during the day. A sweet thought, I think.”

In 1992 the Rosendahl Design Group acquired the production and sales rights to Bojensen’s wooden figures and cutlery, continuing the legacy of the Bojensen brand, whilst ensuring it remains preserved in its original state. Says Zuk, “We try to rediscover the basic design elements in a design and manufacture them as close as we can to the original thought while improving it on a technical level.” At this rate, these fabulous figurines will remain in the public hearts and minds for generations to come.

Images courtesy of Kay Bojesen Denmark
kaybojesen-denmark.com

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