During the Stockholm Design Week there were loads of activities in and around the city. I wasn't able to visit any of them during the week because of a pretty intense week at work. Luckily there was one during the weekend that I signed up for. A tour with Åke Axelsson in his showroom and atelier on Vaxholm. 
Casper and I already planned a trip to Vaxholm by boat to have a nice walk and take a fika at Hembygdsgårds Café. Which made it easier to also visit the tour. At first we were a bit unsure if it would be worth a 40 minute walk (one way) from the center, but we were so happy we did. It was an incredible experience. 
Åke has the impressive age of 90 years and is still working with his passion to create furniture. He showed us around, explained all things about his workplace, projects he had done and gave an impression of his work. He is mainly been working with furniture for public places as libraries, restaurants, town halls, churches, museums, cafés and so on. 
The location itself wasn't bad either. The showroom was in the same building where he lives, with a beautiful garden all around. Åke's atelier was in the building next doors. Where I was already impressed by the first step I took inside the house, I definitely was when seeing his atelier. Everywhere you saw wooden parts of chairs, test shapes and projects that are in progress. 
I would say that a work spot like this must be everyone's dream. From the large windows you looked out on the surrounding nature. All the beautiful wood on the inside and all the tools to create these amazing furniture items. Walking around here immediately made me dreaming about designing products myself one day.  
There he is, the man himself. He apparently also had made a stepladder once and he wanted to show us that his design was very practical since you could hold your hands on the therefore created wooden arch. Without any doubt or problem he walked all the steps up. As you can imagine all of us were holding our breath and shocked seeing an older man doing this. A few photos back, the one with the workbench and the big windows, you can actually see the stepladder on right. 
Chairs are stored everywhere, even on the ceiling. Åke is a Swedish interior architect and furniture designer and did his tour in Swedish. For us it was a good practice to see if we could follow his story. Luckily, with the speed at which he told everything we could keep up. During his 60 years in the industry he has designed and built more than 200 chair models. 
On the right side of this room you can see several prints of places where he specially designed chairs for. In front of the print you could see the actual chair. He has done a number of impressive projects. One of them was to deliver 400 chairs for the Fredrik Church in Karlskrona. Åke was asked to develop a chair that would be light, hard-wearing, comfortable and with a unique expression. For the back and seat, he chose parchment which referenced to church writings. Each chair became unique by the varying patterns of the parchment. 
Photo from www.akeaxelsson.com
Photo from www.akeaxelsson.com
After the tour it was time for tea and cookies. I asked if it was possible to buy his book and if I could get it signed. All the guests, one after another, said they wanted the book too. You could feel everyone was really impressed by his work. They clearly not prepared for this, but luckily after opening several boxes they found a bunch of new books. 

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