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Monday, February 9, 2009

Swedish knockout

I've just finished some great re-worked pieces. One of these is a great mid century chair designed by Carl Eric Klote for A.B. Overman. It has great fluid curves and I couldn't resist it's aluminum swivel base. So, I grabbed it up from a Craiglist post and got busy with some white vinyl. I love the before and after photos - I'm kinda bragging - I know! I've listed them on my website under the vintage furniture tab and you can also get more details from my Etsy store. The older pieces like this one are becoming obsolete and quite hard to find - so, I feel very fortunate to have found it!

In the late 1950’s Swedish designer Carl Eric Klote developed a process of making furniture utilizing a light-weight expandable polystyrene frame for Overman. The company produced pieces in factories in Sweden and Germany before ultimately establishing Overman USA in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Very light, yet so durable the company offered a 25 year guarantee. These pieces have become classics of mid century design. The chairs and sofas all have sculptural qualities to them and, when properly care for, as the one shown here from the early 1950’s has been, are as graceful and fashionable today as the were nearly 60 years ago.

Klote went on to form Klote International Corporation in 1977 which is still producing furniture utilizing the same technique today.

He retained his Swedish citizenship until his death while working and keeping a home in the United States. At the time of his death in 2007 at his home in Högby, Sweden, he had over 2 million frequent flyer miles according to Clarence Hamby, the controller of Klote International. Hamby also has said that Klote was a workaholic, prone to working 12 hours a day, seven days a week. He further remembered Klote stopping by his office and saying, "I've put in my 12 hours; let's call it a half-day."

They also started a new company in Lüneburg, Germany under the same name.