Throughout my career I´ve been fortunate to participate in a great number of very interesting projects. Most of these projects are based on my own visions and commissioned in my own design. Some are corporations with other silversmiths and artists. Others are the execution of other designers’ visions. Others again are maintenance of royal, national and historic silver. I’ve collected a couple of the most interesting pieces and projects on this page. Enjoy.
The Karl Gustav Hansen Prize . In 2006 I was awarded “The Karl Gustav Hansen Prize – Silversmith of the year” at Koldinghus. Koldinghus is the internationally famed Silver museum of Denmark, and Karl Gustav Hansen one of the absolute greatest silversmiths in Danish history. This is a very special and great honor for me, as I’m the only one to be awarded both “The Sct. Eloy Award” from the Copenhagen Goldsmith Guild of 1429 and The Karl Gustav Hansen Prize, being the two most prestigious awards in Danish Gold- and Silversmithing community. Part of receiving the KGH-prize is a commissioned work. I was commissioned to design and craft a pair of sterling silver water pitchers. These water pitchers are in the permanent collection at Koldinghus in the company of several other pieces from my hand.
Heureka series . Winning the KGH-Prize was the start of a fantastic flow of work. The commissioned water pitchers were the beginning of the “Heureka” series that I’ve been developing ever since. I’ve been doing a lot of these pieces, mostly pitchers in all sizes, but also cups and bowls.
“Penguin”. The “Heureka” series have been extensively exhibited around Europe. Among these places was the “Silbertriennale 2010” in Hanau, Germany, where it was spotted by “Robbe & Berking” for production in super polished Silver and Silver plated. “Robbe & Berking” produces the pitchers in two sizes and promotes them worldwide under the name “Penguin”. In this way these pieces became the first Danish designed silver hollowware to be put into production in 20 years. And of course I am very honoured and proud of being the one to break this stalemate. It is a very interesting process to groom my work for production, and I would very much like for more of my pieces to move in that direction. Most of my work have the basic potential for rational production in all materials.
“The wonderful moonlight lustre
of the Danish summer night”
Matte finish. With most of my pieces I use a matte finish that over time has become a trademark for my work. I do work with many kinds of finish depending on the theme of the individual piece. The matte finish is a finish that in my opinion sets the Silver pieces better apart from their surroundings than the traditional polished surfaces of silver hollowware. It also gives the silver a much softer look that lives up to the saying from Georg Jensen himself that “Silver has the wonderful moonlight lustre of the Danish summer night“. It sure does.
Frankenstein Silver. I like to work on larger series when possible. It gives me an opportunity to explore and develop on a subject. There is always more to explore and never enough time. But some subjects continue to stick with me for a longer period of time. This is the case of “Frankenstein Silver”. Like so many good things in life it started with a coincidence.
I was riding my bike to my workshop and somebody had dropped a bottle on the road. I had to swerve dangerously to avoid the broken glass. And of course I cursed whoever threw the bottle and left it. I drove on a bit until it hit me that I could make use of some of the bottle parts.
It challenges my traditional training. And it’s fun!
What I picked up was a patent bottle top. Actually I didn’t know what I wanted it for, I just picked it up!
It was lying on my table for a long while, until I found out what to do with it. Well of course it turned into a bottleneck on a silver bottle.
I just made it as a little pause of fun and thought it would be the last of it. But I was wrong.
It was actually very much fun to work this way, and it ignited a new concept. A concept of working with the two opposite elements in combining the immensely valued “family silver” (which you never discard) with found or discarded objects that have no value whatsoever. As an extra challenge I sat up a rule not allowing myself to buy anything at all for the project. I had to use whatever I already had of leftover silver from other projects and only objects that I found, was given or traded for. I had to create the objects from what was at hand, and it occurred to me that this was how Dr. Frankenstein built his monster. Piece by piece. Therefore the name “Frankenstein Silver”. On top of this the soldering and connections between silver, glass, steel and wood is naturally jagged and scared, and it corresponds directly to the classic photo of Boris Karloff as the monster.
I still uphold these rules and won’t buy anything for these pieces. This challenges my traditional training as a Danish Silversmith. I am trained to control the silver and to plan and organize every step of the crafting process to perfection. “Frankenstein Silver” is the other way around. Here I have to organize my craft and design around the pieces that I have at hand. And it’s fun!
An inspiration from the beloved
Ferris wheel in Tivoli Copenhagen
Tivoli. My Tivoli series also developed from utilizing all my silver scrapings as in the Frankenstein project. However innovative and Lasse–like this new concept is, it relates much more to the straight controlled lines of traditional silversmithing than the anarchistic elements of Frankenstein. The Tivoli design is much more neat, but still needs to end up with the unique individuality that is always the goal and trademark of all of my designs. Every project has its own potential and challenges.
The project started up with wine goblets in 2010 (although I have initial models much older than that). Since then it’s been popping up in the back of my mind and was again realized as whisky tumblers in 2015. Then sliding a bit back into the archives. Sometimes projects develop like that. They kinda await the right timing. This right timing came about in my residency at Fox Silver in London 2018-19.
The artist in residence program was based on a mutual inspiration logic, where we tried out three to four different potentials before settling on the Tivoli project. That’s often how inspiration works: Up and down, back and forth until suddenly the pieces fall into place. So the main bulk of the Tivoli design connects heavily to my residency in London, and my connections and activities in the UK still have the highest priority.
Contemporary Silversmithing and luxury design is a highly international affair that I thoroughly enjoy participating in. Luckily you can be global and local at the same time and in the classically influenced section that I’m in age has no bearing. It doesn’t matter if you or your inspiration are young or old as long as it’s personal, inspired and top quality.
The Tivoli design has its inspiration from the beloved Ferris wheel in Tivoli, Copenhagen. The gondolas are shaped in the lines of hot air balloons that seem to lift you over the rooftops of Copenhagen. As a child my grandmother invited the whole family to the Tivoli Gardens once a year and the Ferris wheel was one of the impressing things that an old lady could do with her 5 years old grandchild. Fantastic. For a 5 years old it was really flying high. Even today where the Ferris wheel seems somewhat smaller it is still a fantastic vision of grandmothers and grandchildren riding it. Just like it should be in Tivoli.
Tivoli holds a permanent place in the hearts of all Danes and even if you think you’ve outgrown it you haven’t. The Ferris wheel is one of the most iconic features in Tivoli and even if it is 80 years old and only 20 meters high it’s one of those things I’ll remember my whole life.
In the Tivoli series I have designed Pitchers in all sizes from large 1L water or 0,8L wine over 0,5L points and smaller milk jugs, creames and tiny whisky water. Any wishable size. Wine and water goblets and whisky tumblers in silver or blown glass.
My Tea infusers pointed more towards Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey and became an apostrophe in history
Drops . Tea infusers. One of my iconic designs that many in the international silversmithing community know of without realizing that I’m the designer is my drop shaped Tea infusers.
They are about 25 years old but still look like they are designed for tomorrow.
When I came up with the design in the late 90ths the style of work in contemporary silversmithing was swinging towards the handheld style that most contemporary artists are working in today. So my Tea infusers that pointed more towards Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey straight up became an apostrophe in history.
The Tea infusers have as one of only two selected pieces from Scandinavian contemporary Silversmithing been extensively exhibited in more or less all European countries as part of ”Scandinavian Design – Beyond the Myth” 2003-06.
I’ve always been proud of them and think that they are very beautiful. I tend to think that about most of my pieces, but these holds a special place in my self-image. It still baffles me that I designed them because they are a humongous step in design from my hand and I cannot for the life of me remember how they came about.
I know that I didn’t see somebody elses piece and then made my own version. I don’t do that. But I must have seen, heard, smelled, felt something that turned into this beautiful new designs.
The only thing I can remember is the feeling of an internal buildup that suddenly spilled over. An epiphany. I’ve tried these buildups a couple of times since and maybe my surprise is just because this was the first one.
I expect that most artists experience these shifts, and just like Picasso had a famous blue period this was my drop period.
After a while it always ends in a buildup that spills over
I know that I in my day to day designing don’t experience the artistic doubt and fear that many of my colleagues seem to portray. I mostly know exactly what I want to do and how to do it. I do spend a fair amount of energy trying to keep my creativity on a kind of straight path instead of going off the reservation all the time. To me there is always some kind of distraction going on in the side galleries and I constantly have to remind myself of staying on the planned course. It’s not a great sacrifice because there’s just as much fun and challenges on the course as off it.
But after a while it always ends in a buildup that spills over. Then its time to move on and then the fun and games start all over again in a new direction.
I’ve come to expect these build ups once in a while. By now I know that during the last period of time before these spills I’ll be increasingly tense and annoyed. Impatient, I guess. A bit like a racehorse before the launch.
The thing is that I know it’s coming, but I don’t know when or what it’ll be.
Even if I do find this spilling trademark of mine a bit annoying it keeps it interesting. Maybe I don’t always need to know where I’m going next anyway. And if it turns out like the Drops, it’s not so bad.
Fun fact: A tea infuser on a stand are constructed by 21 individually crafted pieces of silver. Lots of work to make it look and function simple and elegant.