I was born into a traditional creative family. My great-great-grandfather P.C. Skovgaard was a recognized landscape painter; my great-grandfather Niels Skovgaard was a recognized painter, illustrator and sculptor – his paintings are displayed in the National Museum of Denmark; and my grandfather Hans G. Skovgaard worked as an architect and furniture designer.
As a young man I wanted to be a cabinetmaker, but at the time there were very few high-quality apprenticeships available, so I had to pursue other avenues. I attended various art schools for several years. Then, at 22 I enrolled in Denmark's Design School in Copenhagen, where I studied the profession of furniture designer and developed my skills as a craftsman. Inspired by the likes of Finn Juhl, Peter Moe and Sam Maloof, I was drawn towards organic furniture.
I love wood as a material. I am in awe of the many long years it takes for a tree to grow large. In a way, a tree reflects the events that occurred around it while it was growing. In fact, a tree's internal structure is a record of the environmental circumstances under which it formed itself, as can be seen by the variations in its density, its grain and its knots. As a result, no two pieces of wood are ever alike, and therefore every new piece of wood that’s destined to be part of an item of furniture represents a new challenge.
My workshop is located in Valby in Copenhagen. In the historic Workshop-town behind the old vegetable market, I have created a small design studio and workshop. I am both a furniture designer and a craftsman. For me, the two compliment each other. I like to lead the design process to completion by creating the finished product.
It takes far more time and effort to sculpt organic furniture than it takes to construct angular furniture, so naturally it is much more expensive to produce. Those who are fortunate enough to be able to own a piece of my furniture will enjoy it for many decades. And if you make changes to your home or office at some point in the future, you will likely never throw it away. It automatically becomes sustainable furniture as opposed to disposable furniture. I treat the tree with care and give it a long life. In this way, I feel that I am doing the tree honor.
When I undertake a commission, I always start by making some simple sketches to visualize the project and frame the idea. Then I build one or more full-scale models called mock-ups, in order to achieve a more accurate picture of all the lines and details. Then I start building the actual furniture, and as I build, the little details begin to fall into place. I never design a piece of furniture completely before I build it. In this way the character of the wood and the techniques I apply to produce it, have some influence over the design, right through to the final phase. Perhaps that's the fine line between furniture design and furniture art.
Ask Emil Skovgaard is a fast growing, Danish design company with its own studio and furniture fabrication workshop in Valby, Copenhagen.
The driving force behind the company’s success is a passion for beautiful and exclusive furniture design, and a talent for craftsmanship of the most uncompromising quality.
The company designs and manufactures furniture, recognized in particular for the kind of beautiful, elegant, organic design that has given Scandinavia its international reputation.
The company serves an international home and business market that demands the kind of exclusive furniture that is both designed and manufactured by Ask Emil Skovgaard in his studio and furniture workshop in Valby, Copenhagen.
Skovgaard serves the high end of the market with a variety of unique custom products, as well as a stock portfolio of exclusive furniture and sculpture, each timeless piece designed to maintain its value through decades of appreciation.
The company is owned by Ask Emil Skovgaard, whose works have been presented and critically acclaimed by the media, including "Wallpaper" and Illums Bolighus (Copenhagen).
Read more about furniture designer Ask Emil Skovgaard here.