SOMA Crystal
SOMA News 22 Oct 2006
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Who was Skjøde


The original to this article was found on http://www.skjernkvaernen.dk/history.htm in 2004.
However this page no longer exist, and I have had no succes in finding it's owner. Therefore I have taken the liberty of copying the text.
(If you are, or know, the copyright owner, then please contact me.)

English translation at the end of this page:

Skjøde

Det begyndte med en lille mus drejet og skåret i Bangkokteak. Siden fulgte en munter and med sine ællinger, en elegant pingvin og en klog ugle, der kunne holde på bøgerne. De dekorative dyr fik følgeskab af skåle, fade og bakker, skærebrætter og bordkværne til salt og peber. Den kværn, De netop har pakket ud, blev én af virksomhedens største successer med tusinder af solgte eksemplarer verden over, omtalt i flere fagtidskrifter og optaget på Dansk Kunstindustris censurerede udstilling på Charlottenborg, som fornemme eksempler på gedigent og smukt dansk design.

Virksomheden i Skjern var i sig selv et eventyr fra det virkelige liv, hvor bilforhandlerens søn fra Kolding, Theodor Skjøde Knudsen, kom til Vestjylland som kostskoleelev på Vestjysk Gymnasium i Tarm midt i 40′erne. Herefter arbejdede han som bogholder i sin svigerfars virksomhed, Herborg Maskinfabrik i Skjern, men i sin fritid morede han sig med at lave dyr, vaser og lamper i keramik og siden i træ. I 1956 indsendte man fra Den Permanente en vase og en lampe i træ til den årlige Charlottenborgudstilling for kunsthåndværk. Tingene blev antaget, og de vakte så megen opsigt, at Skjøde tog springet til at blive selvstændig kunsthåndværker.

I 1960 byggede han sin fabrik, der med sine 40 ansatte og flere underleverandører stod som beviset på bæredygtigheden i Skjødes fornemmelse for design. Skjødes ting fandt bl.a. vej til Amalienborg, da Prinsesse Margrethe bestilte et spil Kinaskak hos ham. Salget blev båret frem af 1960′ernes bølge af veldesignede møbler, lamper og brugskunst, der gjorde "Danish Design" kendt og eftertragtet i hele verden.

I midten af 60′erne blev det træspillene fra Skjøde Skjern, der fyldte mest i produktionen - "Drillepinden", som er en særlig dansk udgave af det klassiske solitairespil, det lige så drilske roulettespil, det 7.000 år gamle kalahaspil i en moderne designet udgave m.fl. Kronen på dette værk var tårnspillet, hvor man fylder kugler i foroven og så drejer dem ned til bunden via sindrige kanaler. Dette spil, der oprindelig var tænkt anvendt som kodelås til en sparebøsse, fungerer lige så meget som skulptur, som et spil. Den håndværksmæssige kvalitet og omhyggelige sortering af træet prægede alle spillene, så de har fungeret som dekoration længe efter, spilleinteressen var forsvundet.


Skjøde og Piet Hein

Efter successen med sine egne spil startede Skjødes samarbejde med den verdensberømte danske digter og tusindkunstner Piet Hein. De mødtes første gang på den årlige Fredericiamesse sidst i 60’erne og blev bragt sammen af deres fælles fascination af matematiske gåder, der kunne udvikles til spil. Piet Hein havde i Scientific American beskrevet sådanne matematiske spil. Da Skjøde fandt ud af, at der ikke var nogen til at udvikle og producere spillene, foreslog han det samarbejde, som kom til at vare i 10 år, og hvis største fælles succes blev lanceringen af superægget. Dette blev udformet i sølv eller poleret messing som en 3-dimensional udgave af Piet Heins verdensberømte superellipse.

Skjøde lukkede sin fabrik i 1977, men hans ting eksisterer fortsat rundt om i mange hjem, og med den stigende interesse for dansk kvalitetsbrugskunst, vil de igen blive taget frem og vække glæde med deres fine design og utrolige håndværksmæssige kvalitet. Og mens det 4 meter høje superæg i rundkørslen på Ringvejen byder folk velkommen til Skjern, udsendes nu en ny udgave af Skjødes salt- og peberkværn.

Translated text

Skjøde

It started with a small mouse turned and cut from Bangkok hardwood. Then follow a happy duck with its ducklings, an elegant penguin and a bright owl, which could support your books.
These decorative animals was accompagnied by bowls, dishes and trays, breadboards and salt and pebbermills. The mill, you have just unpacked, ((The text is apparently from a brochure)) became one of the compagnys greatest successes with thousands of sold units over the world, mentioned in several journals and accepted by Danish Artindustrys censored exhibition on "Charlottenborg", as prestine examples of stable and beautiful Danish design.

The compagny in "Skjern" was in itself a fairytale from the real life, where the cardealers son from "Kolding", Theodor Skjøde Knudsen, arrived at west Jutland as a bordingschool pupil on "Vestjysk Gymnasium" in "Tarm" in the middle of 40 - 42's. Hereafter he worked as an accountant in his father in laws business, "Herborg Maskinfabrik" in "Skjern", but in his spare time he enjoyed making animals, vases and lamps in ceramics and later in wood. In 1956 they sendt from "Den Permanente" (The permanent) a vase and a lamp of wood, to the yearly Charlottenburg exhibition for art-handcraft. The items were accepted, and raised so much interest, that Skjøde made the jump to becoming an independant art-craftsman.

In 1960 he built his factory, which with its 40 employees and several subsuppliers existed as a proof of the sustainability in Skjødes feeling for design. Skjødes things found, among others, their way to Amalienborg(The Royal Castle), as Princess Margrethe ordered a game of chinacheckers with him. The sale was carried forward by the 1960's wave of welldesigned furnitures, lamps and livingarts, which made "Danish Design" known and wanted in the whole world.

In the middle of 60's it was the wooden games from Skjøde, that occupied the most of the production - (Drillepinden)"The teaser", which is a special danish version of the classical solitaire. The equally teasing roulette game, The 7000 year old Kalaha game in a modern designed version. etc. The crown of this was the Towergame, where you filled marbles at the top and then turn them down to the bottom through ingenious chanals. This game, which was originally thought, used as a codelock for a savings-box, work just as much as a sculpture as a game. The craftmanship, quality and carefull sorting of the wood was a trade of all the games, so that they have functioned as decorations long after, the game interest had vanished.

Skjøde and Piet Hein

After the succes with his own games, Skjøde started his cooperation with the worldknown danish poet and "thousand-artist" Piet Hein. They met the first time on the annual Fredericia exhibition in the late 60's and were brought together by their common facination by mathematical riddles, which could be developed into games. Piet Hein had in Scientific American described such mathematical games. When Skjøde discovered, that there were no one to develop and produce the games, he suggested the cooperation, that came to last for 10 years, and which greatest common succes was the release of the superegg. This was shaped in silver or polished brass as a 3-dimensional version of Piet Heins world famous superellipsoid.

Skjøde closed his factory in 1977, but his things still exist throughout in many homes, and with the growing interest for danish quality useable art, they will again be brought forward and raise joy with their fine design and incredible craftmanship quality. And as the 4 meter high superegg, at the roundabout on the ringroad bid people welcome to Skjern, is now released a new version of Skjødes Salt and Pepper grinder.


The original to this article was found on http://www.skjernkvaernen.dk/history.htm however this page no longer exist, and I have had no succes in finding it's owner. Therefore I have taken the liberty of copying the text. (If you are, or know, the copyright owner, then please contact me.)

Edited by Thorleif Bundgaard <thorleif@fam-bundgaard.dk>

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