Per Enoksson, born and raised in Tärnaby in northern Sweden, is the founder of Hikki. As a child he learned to craft his own knifes and other Sámi everyday use objects out of leather and reindeer horn. His parents had a shop where they sold handicraft – that gave Per unlimited possibilities for creative adventures, which strongly contributed to his choice of profession later in life. After finishing his studies at the academy of art in 1994 he began his new life as an artist with exhibitions at museums and galleries in Sweden and abroad. Today he also works with design and product development.
The sweat lodge in the mountains
In 1995 Per Enoksson tried for the first time to build a sweat lodge, much like the ones Native Americans use for ceremonial sauna baths. The sweat lodge was made for his cabin in the mountains, a location without roads, and therefore had to be easy to relocate.
Ten years later he moved his sweat lodge to his country house at Björkvattnet outside of Tärnaby. Here, his newfound love for sauna baths in the nature became a source for more ideas on how to improve the experience. However, a traditional hot tub was never an alternative for Per and his family.
In 2006, Per – instead of building a classic hot tub – placed a worn enamel bathtub next to the sweat lodge. The water was heated by making a fire directly under the tub and flagstones at the bottom of the tub worked as isolation against the heat. The combination of a sweat lodge and a bathtub made the experience quite unique and refreshing. The rituals surrounding the bath, the fire and the shaping of the outdoor room became important parts of the experience. Per felt that this was something more people should be able to experience – a feeling that lead to new discoveries later on.
Enamel bathtubs and sooty cauldrons
During a long and hard walk in the mountains – when his longing for a bath was almost unbearable – Per suddenly came up with an idea for his next product: a small hot tub! Or, rather, a wood-fired bathtub. It had to heat up quickly, be easy to clean and designed with care. His point of departure in the design process was old zinc bathtubs with their beautiful patina, something he wanted to combine with his experience of making fires underneath regular bathtubs. Trying to convey something new yet ancient became the goal for his design endeavor. He also wanted to create sustainable products for bathing, relaxing and recreation outdoors. The first prototype of The Bohemian was done in 2009 and made its way to the market through Ekerö Möbler in Stockholm in 2011.
The wood-fired bathtubs are the first products under the Hikki brand. We honor robust design that lies between the original and the urban – between the challenging questions of arts and the fine trades of craft. Opposites that together form a new way of being, living, relaxing and socializing.
Since the first fire was lit, humans have had an inherent will to keep fires burning. Fires bring back old memories and stories. If you travel through the more sparsely populated areas of Sweden you’ll find traces from usage of wood as both an energy source and a source of comfort. Carefully constructed woodpiles grow into monumental sculptures that herald the coming of a long and cold winter.
Many of our products have a strong connection to fire, since the fire is a given gathering point where we warm ourselves, cook, and find the inner way back to our origins.