Scandinavian Glass

The Nordic countries, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark, played a minor role in the historic development of world glassmaking. So, it is an astonishing fact that the area, with some 20 million inhabitants, produced more Post-War glass designers of international consequence than the rest of the Western World combined, with a population many times greater.

1968-Noah’s-Ark-suncatchers-Designed-Michael-Bang-for-Holmegaard-Denmark 1954-Devil’s-Fist-crystal-sculpture-Designed-Timo-Sarpaneva-for-Iittala-Finland

Left: 1968. Noah’s Ark suncatchers. Designed: Michael Bang for Holmegaard, Denmark.
Right: 1954. Devil’s Fist crystal sculpture. Designed: Timo Sarpaneva for Iittala, Finland.

Inevitably, rivalis abounded within such large, disparate group of strong-minded, egocentric individuals. Sparks inevitably flew and ideas were transplanted when they met each other and witnessed the results of their work, both at their employers’ premises and at the regular prize-orientated international exhibitions of the period. The result was an outpouring of designs of all types, the evolution of which is explored in this talk.

1995. Cast Karolina sculpture. Designed: Bertil Vallien for Boda, Sweden.

Andy examines the factors behind the emergence of Scandinavian glassmaking and the designs that resulted from it. This talk is based on knowledge gained from his recent tour of the area’s leading glassworks, including Orrefors and Kosta in Sweden; Holmegaard, Denmark; and Riihimäki, Iittala and Nuutajärvi, Finland.

1965-Two-People-Decanters-Designed-Erik-Höglund-for-Boda 1955-Raffia-coiled-aquamarine-decanter-&-glass-Designed-Jacob-Bang-for-Kastrup-Denmark
Left: 1965. Two People decanters. Designed: Erik Höglund for Boda, Sweden.

Right: 1955. Raffia-coiled aquamarine decanter & glass. Designed: Jacob Bang for Kastrup, Denmark.