Each year, the paper mill Iggesund organizes the event “The Iggesund Design Experience” – and this year I had the pleasure to join in. Along with about 25 other guests from around the world, I spent four wonderful days (from the 22nd to the 25th of August 2016) in South Norrland in Sweden. Since all participants are professionally connected to paperboard, e.g. as packaging designers, paper engineers or artists, we all got along well from the very beginning. It’s great to be together with like-minded people and to talk about our favorite subject: paper.

Our hosts at Iggesund took good care of us. Not only the hotel, but also the restaurants, where we met for lunch or dinner, were extraordinarily good.

For me, it was very cool to meet some other pop-up designers in person, which I previously only had known from the Internet.
Alison and Iain Smyth explained, how a pop-up book is produced – from first draft to delivery of the final copies, using their publication “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” as an example. In a workshop, we folded a complex paper lantern from several individual parts. (The models were sent to us recently. You can see a photo below.)

The packaging designer Niklas Fagerholm reported about his experiences. We were able to recreate some of his packaging designs from Invercote cardboard. That was so very interesting that I  forgot to take pictures.

I got along very well with the paper artist and pop-up designer Yoojin Kim from Connecticut, USA. She was also a participant at the event – and we spent a lot of time talking about our pop-up creations. I can never get enough of this topic. 🙂

We visited the studio of Nils Olof Hedenskog and met the artist and his wife.

When it was announced, that we will be “going for a walk in the woods”, I did not expect that we would go off the beaten track. I knew “forest walks” from home – and there I usually stay on the path. On the uneven ground, I had to be pretty careful not to accidentally step into a deep hole. Fortunately our hosts had provided rubber boots for us. 🙂 In a clearing we could see, that three to four new seedlings were planted for every tree felled. The size of the nursery garden is really great. Every year, Iggesund breeds 30 million seedlings!

In various presentations, we learned very much about the production of paperboard – and particularly of Invercote. I never thought that so much expertise is needed to produce a high quality paperboard. The good properties – especially when folded – are of course very important for the production of pop-up cards.

The visit of the production halls has been very impressive. Of course, I had expected a large machine. But to see the actual dimensions in reality, was a very special experience. On the picture, the paper storage looks as small as a shoe box full of paper rolls – but in fact, each roll has a diameter of several meters, hence the size of the warehouse is gigantic.

The many impressions of those four days can hardly be summarized in a few lines – and therefore I will not endeavor to give a full report. But I can say that I have enjoyed the time. I would have loved to stay even longer.
Thank you for letting me join this event!

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