Designer: Nicolai Appel
Nicolai Appel (born 1966) trained and qualified as a goldsmith at Georg Jensen between 1985-89. Among other things, his works have been exhibited at the Charlottenborg Autumn Exhibition and the Danish Institute of Decorative Art. In everyday life he runs the Appel & Løvig open workshop together with jewellery designer Helle Løvig Espersen.
For the Georg Jensen-trained Nicolai Appel, the work for Stelton not only marks his début as an industrial designer but also represents an apparently significant transition to working with stainless steel as a material. However, a visit to the Stelton production unit in Fårevejle provided Nicolai Appel an insight into production facilities where the feeling for materials was in no way subordinate to that of the silversmith. ³”It was surprisingly similar to what I was familiar with from Georg Jensen. Stelton treat stainless steel as if it were silver. The aesthetics of the material and the workmanship were second-to-none, and this filled me with a desire to carry out further design work for Stelton,”² Nicolai Appel reminisces.
And it was the materials that were to play an important part in the work on the trivet. Nicolai Appel has been raised in the minimalist Scandinavian spirit and weaned on traditional virtues such as “form follows function”¹.
Fortunately, there is something of the child in him also; there’s always a little demon on his shoulder making him question any and all preconceptions. ³”You hear a lot of talk about the material determining the function. If you understand your material, the design itself decides what is possible and what is not. For example, stainless steel is heat-conducting, so naturally you wouldn’t want to make a trivet out of it, but I did just that in any case,” he laughs.
The result was an innovative and creative design. A sheet of stainless steel is surrounded by a special heat-resistant black rubber. The steel sheet heats up and functions as a stable centre point, whilst the rubber sheet protects the table through black studs placed on the underside, which give the impression that the mat is suspended in the air. ³”I felt my way forward, playing with ideas. The trivet started as a feeling in my hands: the combination of steel and rubber; the weight; the sound of it touching the table. Moreover, I wanted to make the trivet an integrated part of the table, a decorative landing ground, not just a run-of-the-mill, ugly accessory.”
The trivet is available in two sizes 17 cm and 25 cm.