National Geographic : 1963 Apr
Elegance of simplicity distinguishes two long-necked vases made by the Orrefors glass works, among Sweden's foremost. Dancers' joyous abandon, frozen in crys tal and photographed against a furnace, enlivens a work of art at the Kosta factory. KODACHROMESBY ANDREWH. BROWN (ABOVE) AND THOMASNEBBIA ( N.G.S. 480 Poems in glass: Swedish crystal A HERD of giraffes in full flight, the grace of curved lines frosting gem like colors, the vitality of varying shapes: Such elements, seen here in the Kosta exhibition hall, make Swedish crystal world famous. Vicke Lindstrand, who designed the giraffe vase and other items with it, strives to make each work a master piece. He considers his art a combination of painting, drawing, and sculpture. "But glass is quite sufficient in itself," he says, "and the artist should only en hance its natural beauty." Blobs of molten glass, impaled on blow pipes, await the breath of artisans in a workroom at Kosta. Soon the glowing droplets will blossom into bowls of beauty. Men who assist must spend 15 years as apprentices before qualifying as master blowers. The trade is a family affair and skills pass down from generation to generation.