In times when it's mostly collections and spring and autumn news, it is excellent to visit Karlskrona lamp factory at Pantarholmen in Karlskrona where everything is done by hand. Meet the manufacturer pair Valdemar and Katarina Skantze.
Manufacturer's pair Katarina and Valdemar Skantze.
Historic & trendy
Although Karlskrona lamp factory does not accept individual visitors, we can not help telling you about this historic institution. A piece of industrial history that benefits from climate awareness increased interest in building care and outstanding products.
For almost ten years, the interest in our lamps has increased significantly.
We notice that more and more customers value Swedish-made lamps with historical background and want to rebuild their homes in origin, "said Valdemar Skantze, who took over the business after his father in 2006.
Katarina Skantze thrives in the building shop. Lamps from Karlskrona Lampfabrik are top sellers at Marin Museum.
Karlskrona building care shop with interior design.
Royal gold medal
It has been 134 years since the manufacturer John Swahn, and Captain Herrman Skantze brought together machinery and knowledge from Germany to found Sweden's first lamp factory in the war city Karlskrona. Just a few years later, Karlskrona lamp factory becomes the leading supplier of lighting for the Swedish Örlogs fleet, and the need for lamps generates several significant orders for the lamp factory. In 1897, the company awarded a royal gold medal for its photogen fittings at the sizeable industrial fair at Djurgården in Stockholm.
Old tools that still perform precision work manually.
After the First World War, competition in Europe is shrinking, and business is gradually getting worse. Much of the Swedish small-scale craft industry disappears in the 1960s and 1970s, followed by fierce price competition from the low-cost markets in Asia in the 90s.
It's so incredibly fun that quality once again pays off.
The interest in Swedish craft was merely down to a level, to the mild extent that Karlskrona lamp factory decided to remove the Swedish mark on the products. It started with the food and continued with clothes, and finally, the demand for durable, timeless products highlighted in the interior industry, "says Katarina Skantze at Karlskrona lamp factory.
Everything is based on sheet metal and pipes in brass. Leif Egesand squeezes brass cans in the factory.
Millimetre precision is important. Leif Egesand controls the pressing.
Strength & Quality
From pipes and plates in brass to finished products in the shop (Karlskrona lamp factory now runs a separate building shop wall in the wall with the factory) the production takes place in some steps at Pantarholmen. First, the raw material must be cut, bent, puts, soldered, mounted and finally re-sealed before the lamp ends in the store. Most of them are sold elsewhere, but also abroad and part of the Marinmuseum in Karlskrona.
We stock all products in our range and can easily adjust the production volume as demand increases.
The advantage of owning the entire logistics chain is that we can be prepared and quickly meet the market's wishes without having to interfere with external parties in production. It gives both strength and quality benefits, "says Katarina Skantze.
Kent Mohlin in the assembly. - It's fun to see the products take shape.
In the construction store, apart from the company's own lamps, there are also time-consuming ink and hooks, linseed paint, tip paint, wallpaper and lots of electrical and lighting accessories. Besides, shop steward Maria Petersson (educated architect) can assist with advice and consultations in the home environment.
Lamps and lighting in quantities.
The idea is that you can visit the building shop and get help with a number of challenges that belong to the property restoration.
Our goal is to create a visitor destination where people can enjoy the rich history of the lamp factory, have a coffee and go for a walk at Pantarholmen.
Right now we are renovating the original property that we had the opportunity to buy back a couple of years ago and recreate the environment that once existed around the factory, says Katarina Skantze.
Lamps and lighting in quantities.
Electricity, kerosene & stearin
Nowadays, large parts of the lamp factory's products are electrified, but still, the kerosene and candle lamps are an essential part of the supply. For example, Karlskrona lantern is a well-liked lamp available in both table and sconce design, both as candlelight and with an electrical connection. Just a few kilometres from the lamp factory, in the shop at Marinmuseum, lamps are sold almost every day. Not rarely to visitors from near and far. Two of the favourites are Koholmen (you can choose a glass container in ruby red, green, brown, pink, aquamarine or smoky clear glass with nickel-plated brass details. Even the Night Lamp, a full and stable base light bulb, is a favourite souvenir from Blekinge.
The brass details "glue" with gypsum to the glass cup.
Surface treatments: Most of Karlskrona Lampfabrik's products are made with three different finishes: polished brass, anti-lacquer brass or nickel-plated brass. Besides, there are lamps with painted (brass or aluminium ground) details.
• Polished brass is the most common treatment that has existed since ancient times. It will have a slightly darker shade over time, but can quickly be put out with powders.
• Anti-lacquered brass was standard during the early 20th century. By using clear brown paint, you get a maintenance-free, durable surface.
• Nickel-plated brass was very popular in the 1920s, and many modernist advocates stick to the nickel-plated yet today, considering that the shiny brass is too prickly.
So do you put brass best?
- Use a dry dust-free cloth and a traditional plaster. Put it calmly and methodically as smoothly as possible, says Katarina Skantze. Use cotton gloves as fat from the fingers creates stains.