Artisanal glass

Artisanal glass is the craft of making glass objects using various techniques. The craft is based on the melted glass and has been passed no from master to apprentice through learning by doing. Gradually the craft and knowledge has been developed.

Making of artisanal glass.

Category: Craft

Geographical location: Mainly Kronobergs län but also in all of Sverige

The glass production began in Sweden in the mid 16th century when immigrant glass blowers started several glassworks in Mälardalen. This activity eventually spread south. These glassworks made objects such as goblets and wine glasses, and these were considered luxury goods. Glassworks were founded all over Sweden and the craft was developed further. After 1850, the modern glass industry had its breakthrough with mass production of cheap glass for a wider section of society. Gradually the import of cheap mass-produced glass increased, which resulted in increased competition. In the 1980s there were only around twenty glassworks left in Sweden.

In parallel with this, the manufacture of artistically designed glass developed in the early 20th century and was based on collaboration between artists and craftspeople. The term Swedish Grace was coined as a description of a Nordic artistic field within design. After 1970, a number of smaller glassworks begin producing artisanal glass in their own glassworks under the direction of trained artists. Knowledge of the craft has developed since then and there are now around fifty small independent glassworks.

In Sweden there are a small number of training programmes available, including summer courses and short courses in artisanal glass making. Several museums are also focussed on spreading knowledge of glass-blowing/artisanal glass.