Skagerak stories

Skagerak team bring us a nice story from a Danish Castle on Copenhagen that now is privately owned. We want to inspire you as much as we get inspire. Thank you Skagerak for let us enjoy it!

Gjorslev castle dates back to 1400. The castle was built for the Bishop of Roskilde, a close confidant of the Danish Queen. People from Skagerak went inside de Castle and talked with Mette Marie Kjær.

Mette Marie Kjær is the founder of the first tea house in Denmark focusing on Japanese tea culture. She dreamed of escaping the city, therefore, she ended up getting the keys to the 450 square-meter south wing of Gjorslev castle. After turning away from her career as an art photographer, she became a practitioner of the art of tea. She opened her business “Sing Tehus” and 12 years later, she moved into the castle where she now lives and holds spiritual tea ceremonies.

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The Art of Tea

For Kjær, tea is performance art – a way to share insights and possibly change people’s perspectives on life. It is the history and heritage that binds Mette and her tea practice to Gjorslev. She told Skagerak Team: “It’s probably not a coincidence that I ended up here, bringing in this more than 2000-year-old culture and traditions and using this atmospheric space to communicate these ideas and share these experiences.”

Nomad Table Tray from Skagerak

Educated in Prague and New York, she has a Master of Fine Arts and Photography. But gave that away after realizing tea was her medium. When Skagerak asked if she is still doing any art, she replies, “Yes, I do tea.” 

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It was during her early days of discovery that she first collaborated with Skagerak. They supplied furniture for her first tea shop in Copenhagen and she hosted events for the brand and served tea.

Through the tea we can train our mind to enter a meditative state with heightened awareness. When I do a tea ceremony I start with a visualization: ‘Put on your nicest kimono and imagine we are walking down the street in Kyoto.’ I describe this tearoom we are entering together, neutral and sparse. I do the first two or three Matcha teas in silence, so they feel the energy between us. It is a slow mesmerizing ritual. 

Mette Marie Kjær

40th anniversary of the Drachmann collection from Skagerak

“It takes patience to build work relationships and we just really liked each other and enjoyed doing things together,” says Mette. Hosting the Skagerak team at Gjorslev to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Drachmann collection was a way of showing how much the relationship means to her. “That’s why we are here, we started with respecting each other and helping each other out,” says Mette.

Drachmann Bench from Skagerak
Drachmann Bench
From Skagerak

The Drachmann collection is named after the Danish writer and painter Holger Drachmann. A leading figure in the Skagen artists’ colony of the late 19th and early 20th century. Launched in 1982, the collection is a modern expression of outdoor furniture that had originally been designed for Drachmann in the early 1900s. The design strikes a timeless balance between Nordic nostalgia and modern simplicity. Beautiful on its own, perhaps against a south-facing wall, and convenient as a comfortable seat at the table. Durable in all kinds of weather, the bench ages with grace, taking on a silver-grey patina.

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