Located in a quiet Copenhagen street, LE KLINT opened its doors back in 1943. Today the company invited visitors to come in, celebrate, meet their new designers and see one of their famous ‘pleating ladies’ lamps first hand.
Dressed accordingly in a white pleated skirt, Mrs. Bente Madsen told us how she now folds two lampshades at once and uses flour on her fingers to avoid the shade getting slippery — a technique she learned through many years of working the craft. LE KLINT lamps are still made in a small, family-run ‘factory’ in Odense. The lamps come in either a paper or plastic shade.
The original folding technique starts by pleating along embossed patterns and lines in the chosen material. It is then sewn together with a single seam, wherever applicable, on the inside.
The shade is then turned so that the seam is invisible, creating a fantastic, 3D, brilliant luminaire.
LE KLINT’s designs are made so that the lightweight lampshades could fit inside a cardboard box and then be easily and economically shipped anywhere.
One of the new designers we had the chance to speak to is local architect Amanda Betz, who created ‘Cassiopeia’.
‘Cassiopeia’ is a magical hanging lamp that incorporates glittering punctures and forms itself from folded W shapes.
Another Danish fresh designer now working for LE KLINT is furniture designer Tine Mouritsen.
Mouritsen’s ‘All in Big’ lamps incorporate an acrylic cylinder that protects the shade and allows the user to move the object around with ease.
‘UnderCover’ is a series of inner shades that allows the user to change their classic folded lamps into different patterns and colors.
His second design is called ‘Viper’ and is a flexible wool felt lamp that can be placed on a table or hung from the wall. The design emphasizes the traditional LE KLIT designs ideas.
In 2003, LE KLINT was officially appointed Purveyor to the Royal Danish Court and their lamps are now hanging within important public buildings around the city. The lamps still prove that a company can be a modern manufacturer, but still maintain a strong tie to traditional craftsmanship and a gorgeous eco-style.
Photo © Ana Lisa Alperovich for Inhabitat