A jack of all trades from Halmstad – meet Pierre “The Swedish Maker” Bolmér
On weekdays, Pierre Bolmér works as a deputy principal at an upper secondary school in Halmstad. He likes to spend evenings and weekends in the workshop, creating and filming content for his YouTube channel “The Swedish Maker”. His educational and inspiring videos have hundreds of thousands of views and this year the channel will be two years old. But the story of “The Swedish Maker” is older than that.
– I’ve always been curious. Once I find a hobby, I turn into a real nerd, it’s all or nothing. That was exactly what happened when I started with carpentry a few years ago. At the time, I used to publish everything I made on my personal Instagram account, but then the thought struck me that my followers might think I was bombarding them with my creations. So, I felt I had to have a separate account for my products, and it was there and then that The Swedish Maker was born, Pierre says.
So far, he’s created a chessboard, various storage boxes, a hammock, leather bags, a wooden horse and a large, talking Super Mario. For Pierre, it’s important that he teaches through his videos, partly because he wants to share his knowledge, and also because he only wants to make each thing once.
– Inspiring others was what made me start doing this. Some write to me, asking me to make something I’ve done before and sell it, but I want everything I create to be unique. On the other hand, I like to help others make exactly the same things as me, Pierre explains.
Pierre updates his YouTube channel once a week. Most of the things he makes starts with a problem or a need. The ideas usually arise when Pierre feels that something needs to be solved or when something can be done better. That’s why he also finds inspiration for his projects everywhere in his day-to-day life.
– My dad also liked to create, but more in the artistic sort of way. He decorated our garden with his works and in my eyes it was a form of impractical creativity. It was absolutely beautiful, but I felt the functional aspect was missing. Personally, I’m just the opposite, and that’s perhaps my little rebellion in life. Above all, I want to solve things, and preferably do so with the materials and tools I already have, he says.
Problem solving is an important part of his creative process. It’s almost as important as learning something new from each project. He finds it difficult to describe the process in detail, as it usually looks different for each project. But the joy he finds in the act of creation is usually the same.
For me, the joy of creating is the feeling that time just disappears. When an hour feels like five minutes. It’s also that little satisfaction in using things I’ve created myself, even if it’s just a simple butter knife.
In his work, he uses a number of different techniques and materials. He thinks that some things are best made using traditional craftsmanship, and others using modern machines. Pierre likes combinations and thrives on the freedom of not being locked into methods or materials.
– The most fun I have is when I get several different materials, such as wood, leather and brass, in one and the same project. When it comes to methods and tools, I actually don’t usually think much about how and when they should be used. Most often I get an idea, and then it’s about turning it into reality in the best way with the conditions I have in the workshop, Pierre says.
His workshop is in the garage. It has grown bigger over time, but now Pierre says it’s absolutely perfect. He has everything he needs there, including the project he himself is most happy with: a workbench with a built-in table saw, vacuum cleaner, and smart storage. In the garage, there’s also a Smart Vise that he bought a few years ago, as well as the latest addition, a Sjöbergs Nordic Pro 1400.
– I started with a Smart Vise and worked with it until I felt that I needed a larger planing carpenter’s bench. Then I replaced it with a Nordic Pro from Sjöbergs, which I’m very happy with. It gives me a nostalgic feeling, a kind of flashback to the handicraft lessons at school, while of course it’s also an extremely functional bench, he explains.
He hopes that one day he’ll be able to make even more of a living from his work. The YouTube channel is still young and he has a creative talent that bodes well for the future. He has a number of interesting projects underway.
– My wife and I are completely immersed in economic self-sufficiency. So, right now I’m brewing my own beer and growing my own tobacco, and even more self-sufficiency projects will definitely be seen on the channel in the future, Pierre concludes.