KINGDOM OF CRYSTAL PART THREE

During our visit to Sweden’s glass area which you can read more about here and here, we had the pleasure of watching two of Kosta Boda’s young designers create their works of art. Åsa Jungelius whose pieces include the chic Makeup and stunning Sugar Dandy collection, showcased her fine skills, decorating a glass vase design, while Ludvig Löfgren whose striking Tattoo and Chloe collections, showed us just how intricate but bold blown glass making can be.

Held in the workshop, people jammed themselves in hoping to get a look into the designers world. How they mould, and create the amazing pieces kept everyone in the audience wanting more. Ignoring modern health and safety rules of most manufacturing facilities, the humbling simplicity, which some might call dangerous, allowed us an up close personal look at one of the most traditional manufacturing techniques around.

Standing inches away from the glass blowers and their tools, you felt the heat and saw the skill that goes into creating each piece and you start to understand why glass works of art can cost such an incredible amount.

With no one knowing what the finished product will be, the designer kept us all in suspense as each glass section was added and sculpted onto the thin blowing tube. Sadly for us and the designer, the weight got too much towards the end of the piece and it’s fragility showed as it hit the floor.

Even without a final finished product, it was such an amazing experience and well worth the 4 hour drive.

Psst – It was super dark in the workshop so please excuse the photo quality. We didn’t want to use a flash and suddenly end up blinding those working with the hot molten glass.

Step One: The metal rod is put into the large ridiculously hot furnace where it scoops up the molten glass. It’s then taken out and with the machine you see here, the rod is blasted with cold water to cool it down enough for the glass blower to handle it.

Step Two: He takes the molten glass ball and moulds it using water, newspapers and wooden tools.

Step Three: The ball of glass is now ready to be added to the main section of this sculpture.

Step Four: What happens to the metal rod once it’s been used? It gets placed in a tub of cold water. The photo shows just how hot it still is after a few minutes of being in the water.

Unfortunately with so many people there and me only being 5 foot made it a little hard to get many more photos but this gives you a little insight into the world of glass blowing.

First image from Kosta Boda, the rest from us.

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