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Architect and designer Josef Frank left Austria in 1933 due to growing anti-Semitism and turmoil. He joined Svenskt Tenn and began collaborating with Estrid Ericson in 1934.
Four years later, at a time when Europe was filled with conflicts, he designed Vänskapsknuten (the Knot of Friendship) as a symbol of friendship and peace. He created it a year before the outbreak of World War II, but it is as relevant now as it was then.
Today the Knot of Friendship has become an iconic object in Svenskt Tenn’s range. The production takes place at Humstorp Metal in Västergötland, a process that require a thorough methodology and great craftsmanship. During the production, the entire company is involved in various steps, which means that a total of eight people are involved in the process.
Josef Frank grew up in Vienna and studied architecture at Konstgewerbeschule. In the 1920s he designed housing estates and large residential blocks built around common courtyards in a Vienna with severe housing shortages. In 1925 he started the Haus & Garten interior firm together with architect colleagues Oskar Wlach and Walther Sobotka. Svenskt Tenn hired Josef Frank in 1934 and just a few years later he and Estrid Ericson made their international breakthrough. Although he was already 50 when he left the burgeoning Nazism in Vienna for Sweden, Frank is considered one of Sweden’s most important designers. Read more
Unpolished brass will become darker over time from exposure to air. This change can be beautiful. If the surface is affected by water, grease such as fingerprints and candle wax, or by other corroding substances, it can eventually be damaged and more difficult to polish away. This can happen especially in a humid environment.
Clean the surface with a soft cloth. For a deeper cleaning we recommend a gentle, non-abrasive brass polish. Avoid using brushes, steel wool, polishing cloths, sponges and the like since the surface of brass is sensitive to objects that can scratch. Also avoid lengthy contact with oxides that can cause permanent damage. To avoid water damage, keep surfaces dry with a soft cloth.
Never leave candles unattended and make sure to blow them out before they reach the candle holder. Keep in mind that some surfaces may be extra sensitive to heat. Take extra caution if you are unsure of the qualities of the table top.
Sustainability and manufacturing
Brass consists of 65 per cent copper and 35 per cent zinc. For a long time, some have called it “poor man’s gold”. The majority of Svenskt Tenn’s brass products are made at Humstorp metal workshop in Västergötland, largely from recycled brass. At Humstorp, they are constantly working to choose the most environmentally friendly alternatives by collaborating with as local suppliers as possible. In the manufacturing process, the waste is minimized, and the scrap metal that is left over is sent for recycling. An own solar installation provide about 40 percent of the factory's electricity consumption.
The production of the well-known and widely loved candle holder takes place at Humstorp Metal in Västergötland. Here, a part of Svenskt Tenn's pewter and brass range is manufactured; creations that require a thorough methodology and great craftsmanship.
When Vänskapsknuten takes its form, the manufacturing process begins with the brass rods. These are supplied in lengths of four meters and therefore need to be sawn, drilled and threaded. They are then polished before they are bent to the correct shape. The finished branches are attached to the centre by silver soldering, before the whole candlestick is polished; a work performed by three people at once. The candlestick is then hand polished to access all angles.
In parallel with this work, other details are manufactured. The rings around the candle holders are punched out with a tool in two steps before being polished. The candle holders are cut out of tubes and soldered together with a plate at the bottom. Then it is time for polishing and quality inspection. When all details are approved, the candle holder is assembled and packaged. During the production process, the entire company is involved in various steps, which means that a total of eight people are involved.
Sustainability in focus
Read more about Svenskt Tenn's Sustainability Philosophy below.
Decorate with Candles
Candlesticks and candle holders are appreciated decoration details that bring warmth and spread a soft glow in the room.