Pot Plant Stand

It’s been a while on the blog, but this story will sprawl out in all directions, like a bush. It starts long ago in Sweden, where on one of our many visits, some years ago in 2010, we visited the Carl Larsson’s House Museum.

Larsson was an artist famous for paintings very cute indoor and outdoor scenes of his own idyllic family life and surroundings, about 100 years ago. Awww, how cute!! At the Museum we also saw this chair, made for him by a local carpenter.

I’m not sure who designed it, maybe Larsson himself or perhaps he was swayed and convinced by an ambitious carpenter (this has happened before – 2000 years ago) but Larsson took a strong dislike to it while it was still being built. Therefore, he had it delivered to his house at night so nobody would see it … but we are seeing it now, aren’t we?

As we exited Larsson’s house we passed through a gift shop – as one is forced to do – and I saw a sketch of this oddly designed Pot Plant Stand, built like a ziggurat. And I resolved to make one like it, one day. Well, that day has now arrived! But unfortunately I mis-filed the above picture – it was under “Cute pictures” instead of under “Sweden trip 2010” – the first time I have ever failed to find a photo among the 145,645 on my hard disk.

So, although I still recalled the approximate design, I had to re-design it from scratch. And here it is: behold, the Pot Plant Stand of Doom –

and as you see, it stands up on its own without any cross braces because the wood is so thick and the joints are strongly made. You see, I have taken up woodwork as a hobby, and that will be one of the ways this story will branch out on, later. I gave it to my daughter Emma (another story branch coming up) and installed it in her flat; here it is, ready to go out into the cold and dark on her balcony –

Well, with the great irony of fate, just after I had made and delivered the bloody thing I saw a picture of the engine of the Emma Maersk. This is, or 7 years ago was, the biggest container ship in the world when I sent a picture of it to my daughter, namesake of the ship. She can carry thousands of containers and cruise at 37 knots – the ship, that is – my daughter is yet more amazing. But enough! and to the picture – here’s the engine, 4 storeys high:

That is the biggest engine ever built, eight times the power of the Titanic. And below are pictures of the ship. The first container ships carried 4 containers across the deck; this one carries 22, arranged in a ziggurat which coincidentally is reminiscent of my pot plant stand, eh?

Where is all this going, well the engine picture is new but it led me to dig up the ship pictures, which are 7 years old. And as I clicked through those pictures, the very next picture in my “Cute Pictures” hard-disk directory was – guess what –

Yes, the missing pot plant stand! And now I see it did have a cross-brace, well mine does not need one, hah.

However: I have built the bloody thing upside down!!

Now I have downloaded the official brochure of the Larsson one. It is sold by a “Chair Club” based at the Larsson home, which has furniture of similar design. The gist of the caption is: “Its modern design is due to Karin Larsson (Carl’s wife) and it is made by local carpenter Hans Arnbom. As this item is rather big, it should stand in a window bay and be fixed to the wall so it doesn’t fall over.” (Hah! Mine stands up firmly by itself.) “It is made from quality plywood (arrghh) sawn by water-powered machinery … this is a collaboration between the Carl Larsson museum and Kotte Toys of Dalen, near Skruv.”

And there ends this story branch, but those last words will open up a whole new story, of the Sweden bike ride we did at the same time in 2010. A story of wonder and inspiration – in the next post.


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