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Glass Discussion & Research. No ID requests here please. => Scandinavian Glass => Topic started by: Bill G on February 18, 2012, 01:48:20 PM

Title: Swedish glass in 2012
Post by: Bill G on February 18, 2012, 01:48:20 PM

Thought I would pass on some important information about the Swedish glass industry in 2012

Orrefors staff has been reduced to 25 workers whose work is limited to machine produced glass. There is
no more hand blown glass being created at this glass works.

Åfors Glass Works where Bertil Vallen has produced his art glass along with production pieces has been shut down by the management of Kosta Boda Orrefors Glass.

A sad time for Swedish glass.

Bill Geary
Title: Re: Swedish glass in 2012
Post by: rosieposie on February 18, 2012, 06:25:09 PM
That is VERY sad news indeed Bill, Scandinavian Glass is my favourite and Swedish in particular. 
Is this a sign of the times?
Title: Re: Swedish glass in 2012
Post by: Max on February 18, 2012, 07:13:30 PM
That really is shocking Bill.  What has happened to all those skilled workers???

Title: Re: Swedish glass in 2012
Post by: langhaugh on February 18, 2012, 09:03:13 PM
I had heard Orrefors had closed down the engraving room, but the whole company down to 25 worker? Incredible. And closing Afors when Vallien has done so much to keep it open.

However, I suppose I'm partly to blame. All the Scandinavian glass that I've bought has been 20-50 years old, which hasn't helped the current industry.

Skilled workers? I suppose they've gone where all the skilled workers in other other industries int eh West have gone. Retirement or retraining,


Title: Re: Swedish glass in 2012
Post by: Daniel S on February 20, 2012, 04:06:33 PM
management, artists and market is to bad.
Title: Re: Swedish glass in 2012
Post by: a40ty on February 21, 2012, 06:34:02 AM
This is very bad news indeed. I started visiting the different Kosta Boda / Orrefors glashytte in the nineties and have seen how over the years, one by one, they were closed down. To think that Orrefors is down to 25 and that Åfors is shut is so sad. All those jobs in the village gone and nothing to replace them..
Title: Re: Swedish glass in 2012
Post by: aa on February 21, 2012, 10:31:20 PM
Yes, very bad news. This is what was circulated by CGS on 23rd Jan:

"Åfors glasbruk is the base of four of the most well-known glass artists in Sweden ˆ Bertil Vallien, and Ulrica Hydman-Vallien, and two younger artists, Ludvig Löfgren and Åsa Jungnelius. During the last five years or so Orrefors Kosta-Boda, the group which includes Åfors , has shrunk dramatically, closing Boda glasbruk, stopping cutting and engraving in Orrefors, selling the archives and historical collections of the Kosta, Boda, Orrefors, Åfors and Johansfors glass works and concentrating on more commercially-oriented activities in Kosta. During this period Åfors has continued to thrive, certainly in an artistic sense, producing art glass rather than service items and serving as a major tourist attraction for those interested in the work of the Valliens and their partners. It has therefore been a shock to hear that it is now proposed to shut the hot shop in Åfors, with the loss of 35 jobs (out of about 50). The only parts of the glass works to survive in the plan announced by the New Wave group, the owners of Orrefors Kosta-Boda, will be the painting studio and the shop.

Not surprisingly, the proposed closure has generated a spirited response form the local community, including the formation of a support group ˆ Åforsgruppen. The group is investigating the possibility of either buying or leasing the glass works and using it as a centre for both unique art glass and pieces which in Swedish are described as Folkglaset - „people's glass? - and for more experimental work. The aim would be to build on the Åfors reputation for innovation, producing glass which is not available elsewhere ˆ a common complaint of visitors to Glasriket ˆ the Kingdom of Glass, as this part of Sweden describes itself - is that virtually all the glass on display in the Orrefors Kosta-Boda locations is commonly available elsewhere and that there is little to distinguish the work produced in one glass works from that produced in the others.

It is very early days in what is likely to be a long battle. The CEO of the New Wave group, Torsten Jansson, has indicated that the group might be prepared to sell Åfors ˆ for a high price - and may also be prepared to consider leasing it He says that „Nobody would be happier than I if the glassworks in Åfors could live on‰, but notes that with losses in the Orrefors Kosta-Boda group amounting to c.£25 million last year, economies are essential. In a reply to a letter from the Åforsgruppen, he notes out that if each of the 300 people who attended the first meeting called to discuss the closure, were to contribute £10,000, then the group would have starting capital of £3 million. This is clearly unrealistic but does, perhaps, indicate what sort of funding may be required ."
Title: Re: Swedish glass in 2012
Post by: adam20 on February 26, 2012, 09:53:04 AM
Hi - I agree all this is sad news - there are so many talented people who still have a lot to give - I too buy a lot of 'retro' Scandi glass but have started buying more recent works by Kjell Engman for Kosta Boda for example and Renate Stock for Sea Glas Bruk - I would definately keep on supporting and buying new works but I guess its not the collectors who have an effect, its the normal householder who has turned to LSA, Ikea and Chinese products in recent years.