As of September, Gustav Larsson is the new carpenter and product developer in the Gärsnäs workshop. Here, among the machinery and materials, he, along with the designers, will develop new furniture for Gärsnäs – and improve upon the old. There is always something to be done. Gärsnäs had its eyes on Gustav for quite some time. He was classmates with product development manager Victor of Wetterstedt for several years at Malmsten’s in Stockholm and they kept in touch. When an opening emerged at the workshop, thoughts turned to Gustav. He was then a carpenter at Nikari in Fiskars, Finland, a furniture maker that works solely with solid wood. This was the very competence Gärsnäs was looking for. “I was engaged in product development at the factory in Finland, but above all worked with production. But I enjoy being part of the creative process and coming up with solutions.”
Gustav grew up in Örebro and a fondness for carpentry began in the workshop of an older friend of the family, a carpenter trained at Carl Malmsten’s school a long time ago. Gustav had already worked as a carpenter on building sites but wanted to do something else. “I was allowed in his workshop as often as I wanted and that’s where I discovered genuine craftsmanship. I loved it and was always working on something, working at nights.”
He looked for proper training, first a vocational cabinetmaking course in Uppsala and then work as a set carpenter for Uppsala Stadsteater. “It was fun and something different.” In the theatre’s woodwork shop, he built his models, applied to Malmsten’s and was accepted. He had a traineeship at Nikari, was offered a job immediately, completed the course in Stockholm and then travelled back east, along with Petra Mattsson. After three fine years, the job offer from Gärsnäs came.
His predecessor, Anders Kristell, will retire soon, but still works several days a week, and Gustav is soaking up all the know-how, tips and tricks he can get. He wants the workshop to evolve, and, if possible, acquire new digital woodworking machinery.
When it comes to product development at Gärsnäs, Victor and Gustav will work in parallel. It promises to be an effective team.
“We think alike, we’re interlinked and have the same approach to craftsmanship.” The art of carpentry is the very foundation of operations at Gärsnäs, so Gustav is in the right place.
Currently, he and Petra rent an apartment in the centre of town. “It’s lovely and a bit like a Springsteen song; I see the factory from home through the windows,” he laughs. In addition to his work, Gustav has always made his own furniture and almost all their furniture at home is made by him. “I like to design things, I have ideas and thoughts. Perhaps a new product can be made from leftover material?”