Orrefors has produced utility glass and art glass made of crystal since 1898.
Timeless Scandinavian elegance, innovative design and genuine craftsmanship are the defining characteristics of Orrefors products. Orrefors regularly presents new collections of utility glassware produced in large-volume series and limited-edition art glass.
The successes of Simon Gate and Edward Hald in Paris in 1925 constituted the start of the long Orrefors tradition of creative design closely combined with genuine and innovative craftsmanship.
Since then, new designers and skilled glassmakers have continued in the spirit of Gate and Hald. Vicke Lindstrand and Edvin Öhrström with the new glass technique called Ariel in the 1930s. Sven Palmqvist with Kraka and Ravenna in the 1940s. And in the 1950s with Fuga, which, along with Nils Landberg’s slender tulip-shaped glass “Tulpan” and Ingeborg Lundin’s apple-shaped vase “Äpplet”, are now seen as symbols of the renaissance of Swedish design. The 1960s are associated with Gunnar Cyrén’s Pop glass, and in the 1970s, Eva Englund, Olle Alberius, Lars Hellsten and Jan Johansson as well as Cyrén worked at the glassworks.
Since the 1980s, designers such as Anne Nilsson, Erika Lagerbielke, Helen Krantz, Matz Borgström, Per B Sundberg, Martti Rytkönen, Lena Bergström, Ingegerd Råman, Malin Lindahl and Efva Attling have helped to propel Orrefors design heritage into the future.
Following the journey of glass from a syrupy, molten state to glittering crystal is a spectacular sight that takes place in the Kosta Boda hot shops every day.
Designers, glassblowers, cutters, painters and engravers play their part in this skilled work every day, and each glass from Orrefors is a unique and sophisticated piece of craftsmanship. By the time the finished glass leaves the glassworks, no fewer than 15 different people have contributed to the production process.
Orrefors Glassworks was founded in 1898 on the same site where ironworks operations had been run since 1726. In the same year that the glassworks was founded, a hot shop was built for making technical, medical and household glass and stemware to make use of waste wood and labour. Glass now replaced the less profitable ironworks operations.
In 1913, Consul Johan Ekman from Gothenburg became the new owner of Orrefors Glassworks. He appointed Albert Ahlin as manager of the glassworks and this marked the start of a new era. In 1914, Orrefors started manufacturing crystal products, and as well as cut crystal according to purchased patterns and samples, Orrefors made art glass using the overlay technique with etched decoration. The new management quickly saw that artists were needed in the business, so Simon Gate was employed in 1916 and was joined by Edward Hald a year later.
That same year, Gate and Hald made their first tentative attempts at figure engraving. They also experimented with the new innovative graal (grail) glass technique that was developed at Orrefors by the master glassblower Knut Bergqvist. The major successes were achieved a few years later at the Gothenburg Exhibition in 1923, and in particular at the Paris Exhibition in 1925. The thin engraved glass was admired by the surrounding world, and both Orrefors and the artists themselves were awarded the Grand Prix.
Orrefors Kosta Boda AB is a design company in the Swedish province of Småland that designs and makes high-quality utility glassware and art glass. We develop, produce and sell a wide range of utility and art glass for private and public use under the brands Orrefors and Kosta Boda. We are the largest glassworks group in the Nordic countries with a history dating all the way back to 1742.
The glasswork in Kosta constitute the heart of our business. Genuine glasswork environment close to the craftsmanship and the designers. At our glasswork we also run extensive tourism and events operations that attract more than one million visitors each year.
The SEA glassworks and Glasma, a glass pellets (pelletized batch) manufacturer, are subsidiaries of Orrefors Kosta Boda AB.
Since 2005, Orrefors Kosta Boda AB has been part of New Wave Group, which works with several brands in the consumer and corporate market in the areas of sport, leisure, furnishings and gifts. New Wave Group is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Stockholm exchange.
Ulf Kinneson is the CEO of Orrefors Kosta Boda AB.
Since 1898, art and crystal glass for everyday use has been produced under the brand of Orrefors. At our glassworks in Kosta, our skilled glassworkers are joined by several of Sweden’s most prestigious designers in developing the design, craftsmanship and new techniques. A smaller part of our production has been produced at other renowned glassworks, mainly in Europe, since 2004. A few products are produced in Asia. At all glassworks, we use the same designers and in many cases the production techniques developed by ourselves in Småland, Sweden.
The vision is to be the obvious choice for consumers all over the world who want to embellish their surroundings and lives with glassware and art glass. Our business concept is to develop, produce and sell a wide, attractive and high-quality range of utility glassware and art glass for private and public use.