Orrefors vase
above: Orrefors vase
in the Ariel series

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Orrefors Glass from
The Glass Encyclopedia

A short explanation of Orrefors Glass:

Orrefors glassworks was founded in 1898 on the site of an iron-works, and in its early years the glassworks supplemented the ironworks by making cheap table-ware and bottles. Johan Ekman bought the company in 1913, closed the ironworks and started making better quality glass, such as cut crystal. They hired designers and artists to create new designs and techniques.

During the early twentieth century Swedish glass companies benefited commercially and industrially by their neutrality during the two world wars, and their glassworks evolved beautiful harmonious designs in the 1940s and 50s at a time when little was happening in the glassworks of Europe. During the 1950's they led the world in the volume and creativity of their designs.

The artists Simon Gate and Edward Hald were hired in 1916-17 by Orrefors, and worked with Knut Bergkvist to create the new technique of glass design called Graal, which has proved very successful and popular for many decades. Edvin Orhstrom joined the firm in 1936, and he, along with Vicke Lindstrand and the rest of the design team, developed the technique called Ariel. The vase above left is one of these Ariel pieces, where a multi-layered glass blank is cut to show the design through the layers, and this is then cased in clear crystal so as to trap air in the cut away parts of the design. The effect is to give an impression of silver inside the glass, due to the way light is reflected from the interior surfaces. Sven Palmquist joined the company in 1928 and developed Ravenna glass, thick glass with a pattern of regular coloured openings revealing layers of coloured glass.

Orrefors were merged with Kosta Boda Glass in 1990 and in 1997 were taken over by Royal Scandinavia, of Denmark. The Orrefors glassworks continued to make high quality art glass as the major Swedish glass manufacturer.

References and Further Reading:

Here are some books that include information on Orrefors glass. Click on the bookcover or the title to see more information.

Artistic Swedish Glass by Andersson (2012) Best of Modern Swedish Glass Orrefors glass book Orrefors Century book Orrefors glass book Orrefors catalogs Scandinavian glass by Geary Smoke and Ice book Scandinavian Ceramics and Glass

Find more books on Scandivian glass from Amazon - click here.

And to find more books on Swedish glass click here.

If you would like to know more about Orrefors glass there is an excellent article by Bill Geary on the Glass Museum website at http://www.theglassmuseum.com/orrefors.htm

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