Letters Series – Product information

Design by Nikolaj Blinkenberg Willadsen

Letters from Blinkenberg CPH is a series of handcrafted wooden furnitures based on traditional cabinet maker skills. All designs are inspired by one or several classics. These are often industrial designs where the lines and materials are transformed into traditional wooden craftsmanship with great inspiration in funkis.

Letters from Blinkenberg CPH consist as of April 2021 of three basic models:

  • X-Chair
  • K-offee Table (will be revealed in Q2 2021)
  • # Tray-Table (will be revealed in Q2 2021)

X-Chair Story – Rethinking a classic

The X-Chair is an exclusive handmade lounge chair made of oil treated European Walnut, Oak black flak cords or smoked oak with beige cords – all with bras fittings.

The X-Chair is inspired by Poul Kjærholm’s PK22, which I admire for its simplicity, its industrial design, the sharp lines and the combination of the two where a few bends are transformed into an elegant and comfortable lounge chair.

Starting out with an idea of making a distributed design, I wanted to create a design where everyone could download my drawings and a production guide, and for a small fee for the drawings as well as per unit produced, and then do the product themselves.

From DIY to exclusive design and sublime craftsmanship

Starting out with the same principles I used when designing the VIP-WATERFALL a new lounge chair emerged. I was however so excited by the visual expression of the WATERFALL X-Chair, that I decided to scrap the idea about a distributed design, and further develop on the design based on my inspirations from the PK22.

Being the great grandson of Cabinetmaker Søren Willadsen who had a factory that made furniture for some of the greatest Danish Designers and architects, I love the art of good woodwork. Hense my aim for the X-Chair evolved into a quest to combine the simplicity of the lines in the industrial Design of the PK22 with traditional craftsmanship, and at the same time develop further on the idea of a ventilated see-through seat and back.

Further inspirations starting on a subconscious level

It wasn’t until I finished the first prototype of the X-Chair that I realized that I wasn’t only inspired by the PK22. I suppose that I unknowingly was also inspired by Poul Kjærholm’s graduation project from the Royal Academy of Art – the PK25. I didn’t know it beforhand, but I have probably seen it in my youth.
PK25 is a chair made in one piece set up with stretched cords. The idea with a design made out of a one-piece-metal later inspired me to the WAVE-Series.

In other words, I can see that the subconscious has once again played me a plaster, just like a time where I spend days on drawing a lamp that turned out to be almost similar to Verner Panton’s Moon Lamp. While my UFO Lamp was a 100% unconscious “rib-off”.

The question is whether to say the same about my X-Chair?
The usage og flak cords most certainly is a bit of a subconscious inspiration, but the challenge to myself on making a wooden lounge chair with the straight lines and light look most certainly is very conscious. Poul Kjærholm’s steel frame bears the impression of being grounded in industrial design, my X-Chair is based on proud Danish carpentry traditions that I inherited from my great grandfather.

DIY fans will not be cheated. I still plan on doing a later plywood version with ribs.

Cleaning and Maintenance of Letters from Blinkenberg CPH

The furnitures in the Letters Series, is oil-treated with Danish Oil. Simply clean it by wiping it with a damp cloth and vacuum the cords.
If the wood loses its shine or becomes rye-and-dry, it can be re-treated with crude linseed oil and optionally – but only in rare cases – be sanded before oiling with sandpaper grain 220.
Over time, the cords may become a bit loose. It is irrelevant to daily use, but from an aesthetically viewpoint some would think the cords should be tight. Therefore, the furnitures with braided sections is designed so that it is possible to re-tightening the cords. The cords are strong and stretch-stable with their nylon core, so if they become loose, it is due to tightening in the windings during use.

Tightening the cords on the X-Chair

The back and seat are braided in one piece, which starts midway between the seat and back in the right side of the chair. From here, the cords are separately clamped, ending at the at the outer point of the back and seat of the chair respectively.
There is a small piece of string under the windings, with an approximately 10cm long piece placed between the cords. This is used for tensioning (see video).
Alternatively, you can simply equalize the tension in the cords in the same way as you do the tightening. The chair is fitted as standard with a slightly softer tension in the back than in the seat.