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Appelgren was founded in 1930 and has been renowned ever since. Their first order was for the Royal Sconcethey created for King Gustav V of Sweden, who purchased the first two produced as a wedding gift for Prince Gustav Adolf of Sweden and Sibylla in the early nineteen-thirties.
The company is now led by Malin Appelgren a third-generation maker. She wields her hammer and stock to create brass and pewter in the manner taught to her by her maternal grandfather. He initially told her this was not a job for girls, but to all our benefit, she persevered and continues to make exceptional pieces with integrity.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Definitely from nature. There is a stillness in nature from where I get my creativity and desire to sit down in front of my oak log and create new forms.
What is your process to produce your products?
Well, you can hear it when I work. Iron driving into metal. There’s a rhythm as I forge the metal. It goes 1-2, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2. Hammer’s easy in my hand. Floor vibrating.
Each material requires an understanding of how to force it with the hammer. Brass is hard and obstinate, pewter’s responsive and yielding. I love that communication and the sensation it gives. And you cannot be in a hurry.
What makes your line unique?
I learned this craft from my grandfather. All manufacturing is done by hand and it makes the product unique. No one looks like the other. Some products are still produced from grandfather's time, such as the original Royal Sconce.
When you hold something I have done in your hand, you must feel the time that has passed. Craftsmanship is all about this. About time.
Can you remember the first time that design really made an impact on you?
Not here right away. But all designs that appear with quality and preferably in natural raw materials make my heart beat.
What’s the most treasured item in your home?
It is a hand-hammered church crown in brass from the 18th century that hangs in my workshop. It reminds me so much, not only of the craftsmanship behind it but also that there are no limitations. Everything is possible even if you work entirely by hand.
What’s the most important design lesson you’ve learnt?
Keep it simple. Don’t overdo it.