15 July 2008

study tour: orrefors + kosta boda (sweden's kingdom of crystal)

Sweden's Orrefors Kosta Boda AD consists of four glass factories located in Småland, Sweden - the oldest one dating back to 1742. these factories at one time were four separate entities but have been bought up by one company - you can read more of their history here

i found it remarkable the number of work stations that are still semi-automatic (which means that machines are only partly used - and it still takes years of training and muscle to work the glass there). the only down side to touring factories in the summer is that almost everyone is on holiday - they close almost all factories for atleast a month so they only have a couple small teams working - really for the public.

Orrefors (which stated in the 1898) now includes a really nice museum and a very translucent "crystal bar".

my favorite pieces in the museum were in this room

just love all the detailed and stylized engravings from the art deco period - i think this one is by simon gate, or maybe edward hald (?!)

my favorite current designer for Orrefors is Ingegerd Råman - like the skid mark effect.

just a few meters away is the Kosta Boda factory - the oldest in Sweden

the day we were there this team of six people were making wine glasses - making glass is very much a team effort since it is very difficult to work without an assistant. in production, each person has a role. the team we watched had one person gathering the glass, one blowing the cup...making the stem, the foot, overseeing, etc. (all the pieces were being assembled one after another before the glass would cool off. they make something like 300 wine glasses in an hour like this.

it was awesome to see a women on the team!

1 comment:

areessea said...

nice pictures. do you have any of the ingegerd råman pieces behind the ones that you took? check out www.kinesisdesign.blogspot.com