tor palm: south africa project
jul 25, 2010
tor palm: south africa project

as part of their final project from the carl malmsten furniture studies in stockholm, sweden
tor and mattias of tor palm, wanted to utilize their woodworking skills and collaborate with
craftsmen to create a collection of furniture pieces.

this idea lead them to co-operate with craftspeople in south africa,
giving them the opportunity
to highlight their skills and cultural
traditions, contributing to creating more work for the
local people.
they established contact with furntech
south africa’s centre of excellence for the
furniture industry – who
willingly accepted to work with the swedish duo. furntech focuses on
skills development in furniture manufacturing, looking to improve the
quality of the south african
wood and furniture industry, offering
accredited training programmes as well as support / incubation
small and micro enterprises.


tor palm also established contact with a ceramics studio called potters
and found different metal
workers who were willing to cooperate on the project.

the swedish duo spent four weeks in cape town, south africa, working together
with the
various organizations and individuals they were in contact
with, developing a number of
prototypes which they wanted to carry a
strong feeling of south african culture. the result is:
a knock-down
stool and sideboard, along with a selection of hand-decorated ceramic
they combined materials and worked with colors and techniques
similar to those in
south african handicraft.


‘sideboard’ is a painted drawer with a massive wooden front. milled grooves allow for easy
mounting of the storage unit’s steel base.


the ‘sideboard’ broken down


‘stool’ is a turned seat with milled grooves underneath making it easy to mount its metal legs.
no need for screws or fittings.


underside view

the components

‘floor lamp’

this adjustable lamp has an adjustable hand-decorated ceramic shade with massive wooden rear.
turned post and voot with milled groove for ‘cordstitching’.

‘floor lamp’

up close view of the ceramic shade

‘ceiling lamp’

hand-decorated ceramic lamp shades with colorful, turned pearls which accommodate
the electrical cord.

‘ceiling lamp’

in the workshops:

in the potter’s workshop

glazing the ceramic pieces

glazing the ceramic pieces

in the potter’s workshop

pieces ready to go into the kiln

tor and mattias with some of the potter’s workshop team

moulds for the lampshades

in the woodshop

lathing  / turning the stool seat

metal worker adjusting stool legs

discussion of the products

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