The Fireplace Tools That Are Changing the Game

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By Paige Alexus / Published by Dwell
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New to the American market and armed with a compelling story, Eldvarm reminds us how extraordinary everyday tools can be.

Designed in Scandinavia and handcrafted in France out of sustainably sourced, local materials, these fireplace accessories have won us over with their exceptional quality and style. 

 

Available through StudioTwentySeven and designed by Emma Olbers, Eldvarm’s collection of fireplace accessories takes cues from a nostalgic connection to long Scandinavian winters. Photo by Frederic Lucano

                              

Each piece from the curated line (ranging from $180–$640) was ethically designed with thought and care, maintaining simple form, quality composition, and a modern use of traditional materials. Photos by Frederic Lucano.  


As the founder and mastermind behind the brand, Louise Varre takes us back to her Scandinavian childhood where the fireplace became the chosen spot of the home for swapping stories, catching up on a book, or spending quality time with family and friends. She says, "As the pace of life continues to gain speed, these rare moments have become some of my most cherished memories."

When it came time to bring her vision to life, Varre discovered a community of skilled craftsmen in the region of Nantes, France, where they developed ways of hand-making these tools out of the best materials she could find. Some of these include untreated French beech wood, vegetable-tanned leather from a 143-year-old Swedish tannery, natural horsehair from a French family-run business, brass details, and steel that’s powder-coated with paint from a Swedish company that has roots dating back to the 1600s.  

                                                       

Eldvarm’s brushes are created with traditional machines at Brosserie Julio, a family-run business that’s been operating in Nantes, France since 1947. Because horsehair innately holds a large amount of grease, it has a long life span while working well with high temperatures. Photos courtesy of Eldvarm.


To bring her mission full circle, each piece within the collection is produced, assembled, and packaged with the goal of keeping their ecological footprint to the bare minimum. When the final product is ready to be shipped out, they work with Adapei, a local French organization that provides rewarding opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities.

     

Varre took great pride in seeking out the right producers for the job. During her search, she found inspiration in the art of woodworking, displayed here at her chosen workshop in Loire, France. Photo courtesy of Eldvarm.

 

When asked how she defines great design, Varre explains, "A beautiful object has to stand the test of time, while being able to do the work it’s created to do." True to her goal, these tools are meant to be used, and will only look and feel better with age. 

 

                     

Varre's fond memories remind us of when Architect Per Bornstein and his daughter Velma invited us into their cozy Swedish residence (shown above and below). We can imagine his home being the perfect place to warm up to the fire throughout the cold winter months. Photo by Pia Ulin

                       

Photo by: Pia UlinOriginally appeared in Knotty by Nature on April 3, 2010