En julehistorie

A CHRISTMAS STORY

English translation in italics


For et par år siden sad Celine og jeg og så mismodigt på en pakke af gør-det-selv-nisser. Vi havde lavet en enkelt og tænkte, Jaeh, og så?

Gennemtyggede kits af denne art udelukker enhver kreativitet. At pakkerne eksisterer nærmer sig desuden en fornærmelse, fordi min ellers yderst ikke-troende Farfar troede på nisser som kloge væsener, der lever parallelt med os. Vi tager nisser alvorligt i familien.

Så det var i en em af tristesse, Per Arnoldis mail klingede ind med en lille video af sin krukkeproces på Kählers samme sommer:

A few years back Celine and I were looking despairingly at a box of DIY Christmas fairies. We had already done one of them and were thinking: Well, and?

Already well-chewed-up-and-spat-out kits of this nature preclude any creativity. The very existence of such boxes is bordering on blasphemy in that my otherwise utterly nonbeliever of a paternal grandfather believed in fairies as wise creatures living parallel lives with us. We take fairies seriously in our family.

And so, in the midst of our haze of sadness a mail from Per Arnoldi suddenly arrived with a short video embedded of his pot-making process at Kähler's Pottery that summer:



Videoen er en lille åbenbaring i kunstnerisk mod og usikkerhed, hvor let det er at ryste på hånden vel vidende, at intet kan gøres om. Hvert et strøg skal fungere. Undervejs udbryder Per: "Det er pænt!" - og så var jeg fanget ind, for "Det bliver godt" er en af Valdemars faste vendinger.

Valdemar var ikke meget talende, og jeg havde mest af alt set det som en stilfærdig kommentar, når han nu sagde så lidt. Jeg havde taget afgrundsdybt fejl.

The video is a little treasure on artistic courage and the uncertainty accompanying it; how easy it is to falter knowing that no move can be undone. Each brush stroke has got to work. In the process Per exclaims: "It's good!" - And then I was transfixed, since "It will look good" was one of Valdemar Andersen's habitual expressions when describing his own work.

Valdemar never said much, and I had seen his "It will look good" as his typical low-key type of commenting. I could not have been more wrong.


Valdemar Andersen, Zoological Garden, 100 Harzer-canary males given away for free
during the Easter Holidays
, 1904. Dansk Designmuseum.
The photo was taken by me for study purposes and I excuse its poor quality.


"Det bliver godt" er røntgenblikket, der rummer hele hans viden og erfaring. Han arbejdede med kunstneriske udtryk, der har mange tilblivelseslag i sig - trykning, brænding, assistenter, som skulle afkode hans originaltegning. Han var derfor den med overblikket. Vel vidende, at der sker uheld undervejs. Hans søn, Ib Andersen, ville have slået ihjel for nogle af de fejl, der skete undervejs i trykkeprocessen af hans fars plakater, hvor farver er blevet forrykket, som det skete i kanariefugleplakaten til Zoologisk Have:

"It will look good" is the assertion of a set of dissecting eyes, comprising all of his knowledge and experience. Almost any work from his hand would have many steps of processing embedded in the finished work – printing or burning, editors and assistants, each of which or whom were to decode his first sketches. His professionalism could therefore be likened to that of an Olympian god. With the appreciation that accidents happen all along the way. His son Ib Andersen would have committed murder had he been presented with the errors that occurred in the process of printing of some his father's posters when layers of color did not quite match up as it happened to the poster of the canaries for the Zoological Garden:



Valdemar Andersen, detail of Zoological Garden, 100 Harzer-canary males given away for free
during the Easter Holidays
, 1904. Dansk Designmuseum.
The photo was taken by me for study purposes and I excuse its poor quality.

Men effekten er stadig forrygende. Plakaten er blevet færdig til tiden - ikke en eneste gang er jeg stødt på deadlines, som han ikke har formået at holde. Farveforrykkelsen har kun understreget lyset og letheden på papiret, som var det fysiske papir selv nær at lette. Gennem en kunstner af i dag, hvis keramik skal gennem en brænding, hvor alt kan gå galt, får vi et lille indblik i Valdemar i værkstedet.

Celine var fuldstændig stakåndet. Hun sad tændt med øjnene limet til Pers penselbevægelser, mens hun forsøgte at nå med i hvert eneste strøg på skærmen.

But the effect is still terrific. The poster has been finished on time - not once have I heard of deadlines, which he did not manage to keep. The mismanaged colors only add to the light and lightness of the composition, as if the actual physical paper is about to take off too. And so, through an artist of today, whose ceramics must go through a burning process themselves in which anything may go wrong, we get a glimpse of Valdemar back then in the workshop.

Celine was breathless. Her eyes were glued to the movements of Per's brush on the screen while she tried to catch up with his every stroke.






Det blev nogle yderst alternative dekorationer. De ville aldrig blive sat i produktion.

The decorations turned out to be of an alternative kind. They would never be mass-produced.



Og så gik vi over til at tegne i stedet.

And then we went back to drawing instead.


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