GRETE JALK (1920–2006)

GJ CHAIR DE GRETE JALK 1963 & Pair of tables, circa 1962

Grete JalkGrete Juel Jalk (1920–2006) was a Danish furniture designer. From the 1960s, she did much to enhance Denmark’s reputation for modern furniture design with her clear, comfortable lines. She also edited the Danish magazine Mobilia and compiled a four-volume work on Danish furniture.

After graduating from high school in modern languages and philosophy, she studied at the Design School for Women (1940–43) under cabinetmaker Karen Margrethe Conradsen. She completed her studies at the Danish Design School in 1946, while receiving additional instruction from Kaare Klint at the Royal Academy’s Furniture School. While consolidating contacts with numerous furniture designers, she took part in the annual competitions of the Design Museum and the Design School’s furniture department where she also taught from 1950 to 1960.

In 1953, Jalk opened her own design studio. Side by side with these rather advanced experiments, Jalk developed many simple sets of furniture for manufacturers, including a high desk and stool, a set of shelves in Oregon pine and a series of chairs with upholstered seats and backs on a curved steel base. Her industrially produced furniture has clear, comfortable lines. The pieces are especially well suited for quick, straightforward production schedules. Economic in their use of materials, they soon became competitive, increasing Denmark’s international reputation for furniture design. Firms in the United States and Finland have manufactured some of her lines. The designs she developed for modern homes included a wall-mounted storage system (1961), a living-room set with a coffee table (1962), a “Watch and Listen” unit (1963) with compartments for a home entertainment system to house a stereo system, TV, records, tapes and speakers. Jalk also designed wallpaper and upholstery, for example for Unika Væv, and silverware for Georg Jensen.

Jalk contributed enthusiastically to literature on Danish furniture. Together with Gunnar Bratvold she edited the furniture and interior design magazine Mobilia from 1956 to 1962 and again after Fratvold’s death from 1968 to 1974. This led to a four-volume work, considered to be one of the most comprehensive in the field. For more info look for: Grete Jalk, Dansk møbelkunst gennem 40 år – 40 years of Danish furniture design, 1987, Tåstrup: Teknologisk Instituts Forlag, 4 volumes: ISBN 87-7511-711-8, ISBN 87-7511-712-6, ISBN 87-7511-713-4 and ISBN 87-7511-714-2.

Due to the complexity of the chair’s design, only around 300 copies were originally produced. Only a few remain in existence today. Inspired by Alvar Aalto’s laminated bent-plywood furniture and Charles Eames’ moulded plywood designs, she began to develop her own boldly curved models. General interest in her unconventional models grew only slowly although they were sought after for exhibitions and collections. In 1963, the English newspaper Daily Mail launched a competition for a chair for a man and a chair for a woman. Despite the fact that Jalk won first prize with two different laminated armchairs, the He Chair and the She Chair, they never really came into production. Her associate, cabinetmaker and furniture manufacturer Poul Jeppesen, had made some prototypes but they were burnt in a fire, bringing the project to an end. In 2008, however, Lange Production began industrial production of the She Chair.

GJ Table

GJ Table created as a companion for the GJ Chair

Designed by Grete Jalk (1920-2006) in 1963, the Laminated Chair is regarded today as the Danish designer’s best-known work. The chair, for which Jalk also created a companion side table, was realised in collaboration with the cabinetmaker Poul Jeppesen. Although it won first prize in a competition organised by the British newspaper Daily Mail during the year of its inception, the chair never went into industrial production.

Only a few original examples of this chair exist to day from the 300 limit production batch. This explains the extremely high prices that have been paid for this model at international auctions in recent years that exced $10,000. The expressive sculptural form of the chair, composed of two similarly shaped pieces of moulded plywood, marks a late highlight in the engagement of prominent designers with this material, which had commenced in the 1930s.

Below are images of Grete Jalk’s Classic lounge armchair by Grete Jalk for Glostrup Moebelfabrik from the 1960s; a delicate teakwood frame with beautiful curved armrests.

One notable aspect of the classic lounge armchair and quality chairs of the time is that it has The Danish Furnituremakers Quality Control  stamp, a A guarantee of high quality. The Danish Furnituremakers Quality Control is an association of leading Danish furniture manufacturers. Its objective is to guarantee consumers and retailers a perfect product and a level of quality, which fulfils the strict requirements for material and workmanship, laid down in the articles of the association.

The Department of Wood Technology at the Technological Institute ensures that the requirements for materials and workmanship are observed – partly by unannounced visits to member factories and partly by testing of randomly chosen furniture. Because of this, the Danish Furnituremakers Quality Control label has become a guarantee, both for the consumer and for the retailer, and an assurance that the furniture will be able to live up to all reasonable expectations.





Vinyl flooring, plastic plates, ultrasonic dish-cleaners, electric toothbrushes, microwaves, push button phones, man-made fabrics… All things to look forward to in the house of the future back in 1957. This elaborate video explains more.


Mahavishnu Orchestra (1970)

Following the death of the late great Jimi Hendrix the world looked for the next big guitar star in music 1970’s music. Jazz Fusion specialist John McLaughlin was pitched as the man to take his place and affections of the guitar loving public. With is style described as one of aggressive speed, technical precision, and harmonic sophistication, he was known for using exotic scales and unconventional time signatures.  In 1970 he started a new electric band called the Mahavishnu band. As well as John McLaughlin the band included violinist Jerry Goodman, keyboardist Jan Hammer, bassist Rick Laird, and drummer Billy Cobham.

Due to the pressures of sudden fame, exhaustion and a lack of communication, the original band began to tire as 1973.  The metaphoric crowbar in the cracks of the band’s fabric appeared when John McLaughlin read an interview in Crawdaddy! magazine in which Jan Hammer and Jerry Goodman expressed their frustrations with John’s leadership style. Although efforts were made to glue the fractured parts of the band they eventually split and reformed with different members a total of six times up to 1987 with a disbandment taking place between 1976 and 1984.

Whatever personal differences the band suffered one thing was sure, their music would go on to become one of the most icon sounds of the seventies. Below are two video; first of a live BBC recording, and secondly a rare 1972 recording at an open air concert. Below that are the original members of the band and then the legendary Inner rising flame album cover. Enjoy!



Garfnart YouTube channel
Funkamedic YouTube Channel
Wikipedia 2013

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Inspired by a recent post on CarDesignPage about the cross fertilised off-spring of marine & car designers conversation elevated to an epic level in local social groups here. Amongst the many designs that have been discussed, this design made us all stop and drool. This hydroplane that was designed by Enzo Ferrari & Achille Castoldi [Speedboat Star] in 1953, the golden years of motorsport.

Castoldi wanted to compete with the Guidotti family, who had been using Maserati’s light aluminium engines to power water speed record boats and set records since the ’30s. He, along with Luigi Villoresi, convinced Ferrari to contribute his considerable knowledge and technical expertise to the project, resulting in the Ferrari 375 twin-supercharged G.P. 52/1 “Nautico”, which could produce over 600 horsepower This proved plenty, and pushed the Arno XI past 150 miles per hour on Lake Iseo on the 15th of October, 1953, setting a world speed record for its class that still stands today.

The penchant for the quirky, beautiful and experimental spirit was so vivid in this design, we just had to share it with you all. Enjoy!


Forced Perspective (1930-50s)


The photo above seems innocent enough, maybe a passer-by years ago with a camera snapped a shot of their local gas station clearing the forecourt. However this picture is not as it would seem. Michael Paul Smith specialises in recreating vintage automotive scenes using his PowerShot SX230 HS, excellent photographic and modelling abilities. here is the set from the shot above:

The small album below shows a tiny selection of his work. To see more go to Michael Paul Smith’s Flickr page here:


MOD TOPS (1960 – 70s)


By 1969, flower power went mainstream…right up the Detroit River, even. Hoping to cash in on the latest fad and drag mustang buyers away from the Ford stables, Chrysler unveiled one of the era’s more colourful options: The Mod Top–or more accurately, Pop Prints, since the treatment was not limited neither to the top nor to just one pattern or colour. Some have suggested that these brightly coloured cars we derived from paint jobs created in 1966 by Chicago artist Tom Strobel, for Chicago Chrysler-Plymouth dealer Mel Wolff. Kevin Martin from Curbside Classics gives his account of events at the time as an employee of Tom Strobel:

“In the summer of 1969, I worked for Tom Strobel designing and building two sculptures that dispensed “art”. Strobel had acquired a couple of coin-operated machines that would, for the princely sum of 25 cents, deliver a clear plastic egg filled with “found art” that Strobel had stuffed into them. My assignment was to package the coin-op machine in an attention-grabbing fashion. I did the job with a tower painted in a Captain America theme (think Peter Fonda’s chopper in Easy Rider) topped with a Jacob’s Ladder that continuously emitted scary-sounding zaps. The crowds ate it up. I used Strobel’s Chrysler 300, complete with the Op Art paint job shown in the photo, as a parts chaser. Needless to say, that 300 drew its share of attention on the street.
Strobel didn’t confine himself to Op Art treatments, as you can see in the picture [below] with Mel Wolff. He created at least two cars, a Plymouth Satellite convertible and a Chrysler Newport, with floral treatments. Could they have influenced Plymouth to offer Mod Tops in 1969? Quite possibly. Mel Wolff had painted the cars to draw attention to his dealerships, and the Chrysler 300 with the Op Art treatment was featured in Playboy magazine, which gave his paint treatments national, if not international, exposure. Strobel also gave his floral-themed treatment to a 1965 VW Microbus. It was beyond slow. Good times.”

Below is a gallery of two original Floral Mod Top Chryslers produced around the late 60s and early 70s.



One of my favourite Group-C Sportcars of the 80’s has to be the Jaguar Silk Cut Jaguar XJ-R8 that dominated the World Sportscar Championship several seasons in a row. Finding ways of paying tribute to this group of beautiful cars when I get time to relax and chill in the old man cave is a delight by sim-racing Group-C 80’s cars in addition to Historic F1 cars. However as a newbie to the the established Sim racing group called HSO (Historic SimRacing Organisation) I only get to drive a Porsche 962C. Below is some footage of the sim-driving  experience of the old 1987 Porsche 962C (915kg /700HP) at Hockenheim Circa 1987.


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Instagram and other iPhone/Android filters can give your most prized pictures a really nice vintage look. However these applications while convenient produce low resolution photos. This is my big problem with them. To solve this resolution problem I started to search the internets to find a new hight res app. The best solution that I found was to plug free action filters into my Photoshop so my 12 megapixel photos can stay 12 megapixels while having a nice retro look. Below are two sets I randomly found to make my viddy card look old. The links that head these mini slideshows will take you to the DaviantArt website that hosts a shed load of artistic work, hit the ‘browse more like this’ button to search for more while you’re there 🙂

Vintage Effects II – Download for free from: Photoshop-Stock

Light & Dark – Download for free from: Whimsical-Dream

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 F1-S-R (1974) SOLITUDE RENNSTECKE - Launching into the air, Wesley and Jason White battle for position as I calmly follow on. — with Jason White and Wesley Rosella at Stuttgart Solitude.

My incident free race at Interlagos, Brazil gave me new confidence to take on the field safely on the 9th February 2013 at the Solitude Rennstecke; a vintage track that hosted only a four F1 races from 1961 to 1964. Of course that didn’t stop us from brushing the leaves off the dusty old track to take to the tarmac in our wonderful old 1974 racing machines. This circuit – because of it’s long length – was indeed a race of endurance where many dropped out due to accidents and mechanical defects. Highlights of the race were: numerous overtakes by me as many threw themselves off the track, as did I at one point, and a top-ten 8th position. The video below with commentary by Jason White covers the events of the whole race with mentions for me at 11:43.

Screen shots from the race with captions here:

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The collection shows how Dieter Rams und the BRAUN Design Department, starting from 1955, managed to give technology a clear shape (form follows function), wrapping it in modern materials. The domestic appliances in particular reveal the impact of “BRAUN Design” on other designers and their product engineering. The collection is either suited for a private collector or a design or technical museum. The innovative aspect becomes evident especially by comparing it with the technical products of other manufacturers of the same time period. Minimum asking price for the complete collection €350.000,– Euro. Click here to see the whole collection at:



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