Orrefors Glassworks

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Crystal bowl by Orrefors
Orrefors, Sven Palmqvist "Fuga"

Orrefors Glassworks (also known as just Orrefors) is a glassworks in the Swedish village Orrefors in Småland. Orrefors manufactured crystal glassware and art glass. The range consisted of crystal stemware, barware, vases, and sculptures and lighting products in crystal. The glassworks in Orrefors closed in 2012.[1]

Orrefors is a part of the Swedish glassworks group Orrefors Kosta Boda AB.


The Orrefors glassworks were founded in 1898 on the site of an older iron works. Up until 1913, the company produced mainly window glass and bottles. When Consul Johan Ekman bought the factory in 1913, Orrefors started to produce drinking glasses, vases and other house-ware items. Ekman hired the brothers Eugen and Knut Bergkvist, who had worked at Kosta Boda before, as well as Fritz Blomqvist and Heinrich Wollman. Wollman originated from Bohemia, which had a long tradition in glassmaking. The first attempts at art glass making were in the style of the at the time famous French glassworks such Daum and Gallé.[2]

A similar technique was devised in 1936 which trapped air within the walls of the glass. This was known as Ariel, a name of a character in Shakespeare's play The Tempest.[3] A major influence of theirs was the Art Nouveau work of the French artist Émile Gallé.[4] Their designs use characteristic clean lines of brilliant crystal that suggests a frozen liquid. Their work was greatly admired when it was displayed to a wide audience at the Paris Exhibition of 1925.

In addition to individual pieces of crystal, the company made crystal stemware. The glass house came to be a leading producer during the interwar period.[5] In more recent times the factory has also become noted for its chandelier-making. Many of the older designs were still produced in the 21st century.[6][7]

Since 2013, the building has been home to the "Per Ekström Museet", an art museum.[8]

Notable works[edit]

  • The Apple Sculpture (1955 by Ingeborg Lundin)
  • Bowl (Simon Gate)

Designers at Orrefors[edit]


  1. ^ Bränström, Sara L. "Glasriket går i kras". Svenska Dagbladet, 3 October 2012. Retrieved 19 september 2018.
  2. ^ "A Short History of Orrefors", www.swedishglass.com : A Short History of Orrefors
  3. ^ Plath, Iona (June 1, 1966). Decorative Arts of Sweden. Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-21478-8. p.107.
  4. ^ Chambers, Karen S (March 1, 1999). Clearly Inspired: Contemporary Glass and Its Origins. Pomegranate. ISBN 0-7649-0932-0. pps. 40, 132.
  5. ^ Arwas, Victor (September 1, 1999). The Art of Glass: Art Nouveau to Art Deco. Papadakis Publisher. ISBN 1-901092-00-3. p.105.
  6. ^ Bray, Charles (June 19, 2001). Dictionary of Glass. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-3619-X. pps. 75, 135.
  7. ^ "Orrefors glass." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2006.
  8. ^ * Per Ekström museet, Homepage

External links[edit]