Carl Malmsten (1888–1972) devoted his life to the renewal of traditional Swedish craftsmanship, inspired by the cultural examples of the Swedish country manor and rustic styles – furniture endowed with a creative simplicity, with a feeling for the wood itself, with function in mind and a high technical quality.
Malmsten’s light wooden furniture with their blonde range of colours have in themselves become an allegory for that which is typically Swedish, with strong references to Swedish nature and cultural traditions. As a furniture maker he expressed the old, inherited forms as well as the new, bold ideas with his language of design. The result will forever be the same – beautiful, eternal individual pieces of furniture which together create a unified and harmonious feeling.
Malmsten’s influence on Swedish furniture design is particularly significant through the schools he founded, including Carl Malmsten Furniture Studies in Stockholm and Capellagården on the island of Öland, both of which are still in operation. It was Malmsten’s wish to restore elements of the old master – apprentice institution that united professionalism with an education in craftsmanship. Carl Malmsten was an individualist who took a strong position against the functionalism, which blossomed during the 30’s. As an alternative he put forward a totally different program for a renewal of architecture and goods for everyday use. He fought for the right of humans to experience beauty.
Carpenters educated at Carl Malmsten Furniture Studies in Stockholm, this way highest quality is guaranteed on every single piece of furniture, manufacture the exclusive part of the program. The sign ”CM” proves the origin of furniture included in the program. Every piece of furniture is extremely functional, each and everyone representing a unique work of art. With masterly quality down to the smallest detail, these pieces represent the antique treasures of the future. Thus they are an excellent investment today.
In the 50’s Carl Malmsten introduced a cooperative project, ”Nyckelverkstäderna”, with a number of highly qualified workshops. The project was intended to draw on the experience of industrial furniture manufacturing techniques without lowering the standards of artisanship and quality. The remaining workshops are the ones who still today manufacture the standard range of Malmsten furniture.
Carl Malmsten never stopped creating, never stopped working. Until his death he was the head of company and schools, still planning exhibitions and busy designing new pieces of furniture carrying a strong tradition into the future.