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From the left: Johan Arvidsson and Tormek's CEO Håkan Persson.
So it’s done! Amongst the many qualified applications, it was Johan Arvidsson from Gothenburg who took home the Tormek Scholarship Award for 2014. He impressed the panel of judges with his cabinet “Sixty Degrees” consisting of over 1200 different pieces.
The prize, a complete Tormek system worth 10.000 Swedish Kronor, was handed out by Tormek’s CEO Håkan Persson who stated:
“The applicants maintained a very high standard this year and it was a tough decision to make, but we settled for Johan’s cabinet which impressed us both in technique and design.”
Johan, who came to Tormek’s headquarter in Lindesberg, Sweden to receive his prize, diploma and flowers, was also given a private demonstration of his new sharpening system.
“Receiving the Tormek scholarship award is an honour and I cannot help feeling a certain pride. I also see it as an encouragement and confirmation that I’m heading in the right direction regarding my woodworking. Being able to sharpen my tools over and over again, simply and with great precision, is reassuring and eases my work as a craftsman. Sharp tools not only give you a better result, but they also make it easier and more fun to work” Johan explains.
Becoming a cabinetmaker was not the first choice for Johan, who chose to change direction in his professional career a couple of years ago. Back then, he worked as an Interface Designer, focusing on web and system design, but chose to quit his career because he wanted to work more with his hands. A choice he does not regret.
Back then, his goal was to be accepted to the Carl Malmsten School of Furniture Studies. Now that he has finished his final exam, new challenges await.
“My focus right now lies in finding a work place where I can thrive. I will most likely start working as a carpenter fitter, it is fun to develop your area of skill. The goal long term is to open up my own business.” says Johan.
During the sketching process Johan likes to work with SketchUp, a digital sketching tool that he feels fulfills his needs. The program allows him to trace his ideas and see how they work in 3D, something he also did with his final piece. The parquet floor laying on the cabinet’s front comprises eight different pieces, all with different shapes. By using SketchUp Johan could draw the pieces and then predict what the pattern would look like. He could also try and see if his idea was sound before he moved on in the process.
Johan believes the judging panel’s motivation reflects his own vision of the design required for his piece.
“I wanted to stretch the boundaries and create tactile furniture, an experience for both the eye and hand with clean lines in a traditional Scandinavian woodworking style”.
The citation reads: “With a unique expression, Johan explores the possibilities with different techniques and materials. The result is a stimulating concept and at the same time austere piece of furniture that with its refreshing design brings woodworking into the present day. Neat!”
You can find more of Johan’s work here: