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It is impossible to discuss the Hammershøi collection without first getting to know the brand that brought us this iconic series in the first place – Danish ceramic producers Kähler. Founded in 1839 when Herman Kähler moved from Germany to Denmark and opened a ceramic workshop in Næstved, Kähler has been creating beautiful ceramics for almost 200 years. It was not, however, until his son, Herman A Kähler, took over that the workshop became famous the world over. Known predominantly for its unique designs and artistic ceramics Kähler has invited many artists to work with them over the years.
This famous hospitality and gathering of differing artistic talents continue to be the foundation of Kähler today. It is this unique design collective that shaped Kähler, as each artist has come and gone, they have left their own individual mark on the company. This philosophy and approach have never changed. Combined with the handmade design traditions, where art and craftsmanship meet, the Kähler brand became an ever-enduring presence in the design world.
Hans-Christian Bauer graduated from the Royal Academy of Architecture in 2010 and quickly made a name for himself in the design world, working with many well-known Scandinavian design brands. The allure of design began at an early age for Hans-Christian. Even as a teenager he enjoyed collecting design products from flea markets around native Norway.
I have always been fascinated by tableware, cutlery and furniture. I [initially] thought about studying interior design, but soon found out it was the products themselves that were my main interest.
After completing a degree in design Hans-Christian went on to work for various design brands and studios. Whilst gaining valuable experience he quickly identified key areas in which these companies were underperforming, encouraging him to strike out alone and establish his own studio to address these issues.
The designer behind the collection: Hans-Christian Bauer.
We were keen to know more about what the design process looks like for someone like Hans-Christian. Functionality is always a top priority he says. In terms of the types of products he designs Hans-Christian draws on “both historical shapes and modern technical solutions” meaning that his products need to be aesthetically pleasing, both as stand-alone pieces and equally within the context of the wider collection, but they must also be fit for purpose. This attention to detail is something that is clear in Hans-Christian’s work and perhaps most notably the Hammershøi series. The simple design is subtle and understated on their own but when you bring the entire collection together the effect is harmonious.
Each of Kählers ceramic creations are handmade, just as they were 175 years ago.
Kähler’s journey started almost 200 years ago, in that time the small family run business has grown into one of the pillars of Scandinavian design. This amount of history comes with quite the back catalogue. It was this catalogue that Kähler dipped into when they developed the Hammershøi collection in collaboration with Hans-Christian Bauer. The collection was named after the artist Svend Hammershøi, an illustrator, painter and trained potter who worked with Kähler from 1893 until his death in 1948.
Svend Hammershøi was by far the most prolific designer in Kählers history.
states Hans-Christian. It is this iconic status and rich history that made Hammershøi a natural source of inspiration when it came to designing a new collection.
Kähler has a long history of collaborating with designers and artists to produce thoughtful and unique products.
I made the first pitch to Kähler with around eight pieces, and they loved the idea, and together we developed the first collection to consist of 13 different designs” says Hans-Christian.
The range was an instant success.
When taking inspiration from such an iconic artist it is important to be sympathetic to their body of work says Hans-Christian, “I used some of his pieces/details and sampled them - sort of like a music producer cuts snippets of music out from an old record to make a new hit” he states “[I] then combined them with a lot of my own design, to make a design that is inspired by the past, but truly designed for today”. It is this merging of the old with the new, the historic with the contemporary that make the Hammershøi collection the true definition of a modern classic.
The simple and elegant Hammershøi candle and tea light holders help increase the cosy factor and make the ideal gift for any occasion.
The Hammershøi collection makes the ideal gift for those that you love or even a treat for yourself. A glass vase, placed on the windowsill to capture the morning sunlight or the Poppy teacup and saucer to delight your guests when invited over for an afternoon tea and a slice of cake. Naturally, we wanted to know what it means to Kähler to create a home that you love.
Your home does not have to be perfect, but personal and give meaning to you.
“Every home is unique, and we all set up our home a little differently. Each new layer you add or any alteration you make in your surroundings will shape the home you live in into an authentic reflection of who you are.” Says Cecilie Opsand Marketing Manager for Kähler.
The Hammershøi collection is just that, an authentic reflection of Kähler. Created with the vision of a truly modern designer in Hans-Christian Bauer, the collection takes into careful consideration Kähler’s personal history and the prolific body of work produced by Svend Hammershøi, somehow managing to remain true to their roots whilst bringing Hammershøi into the current day.
Text: Rebecca Sparling Photography: Angeliqa Daldorph, Rosendahl Design group Styling: Rebecca Sparling, Angeliqa Daldorph