Installation of "Krystallkulene" at Hadeland Glassworks.
One of the highlights of our trip to Norway last summer, was a visit to the Hadeland Glassworks at Jevnaker, about an hour outside of Oslo. My father organized a trip for us to see an interactive exhibit of Leonardo da Vinci's body of work, and I took it as an opportunity to learn more about this storied brand and the craftsmanship behind their products.
The museum and original glassblowing studio is housed on a beautiful sprawling estate by Randsfjorden lake, a sort of village that is home to several small shops, outlets and exhibits where you can find a range of Scandinavian treasures, not to mention farm animals and ice cream for the little ones to enjoy.
The Crystal Ball pendant collection by lead designer Maud Gjeruldsen Bugge for Hadeland Glassworks. Each pendant installation is unique as clients are invited to put together their own work of art.
This lovely adventure (which I would HIGHLY recommend to visitors when the time comes to visit places once again) was in no way my first encounter with Hadeland. This is a staple brand deeply intertwined with Norwegian culture and tradition. Whether on the shelves of my friends’ childhood homes, or in the armoire at my Bestemor’s house, the beautiful works of Hadeland Glassworks are a familiar part of my upbringing.
And I believe most Norwegians would say the same.
Sofie and Bestefar exploring the Hadeland Glassworks village!
Hadeland is the oldest industrial company in Norway, founded in 1762. When production began in earnest a few years later, the focus was predominantly on bottles and apothecary glass. In the centuries since, production and design has grown to include glass and tableware, vases, decorative serving pieces and art glass, not to mention lighting.
The latter has been a large focus in recent years, and 2018 saw a relaunch of a series of stunning archival pendants and lamps, such as the 4280, one of my personal favorites. (Let's be honest I can't choose a favorite I love them all too much!)
You'll find a display of the full glass pendant and lamp collection in the Hadeland Glassworks showroom. Amongst them is the 4280, seen here as both pendant and table lamp.
Today, it is female designers such as head designer and artist Maud Gjeruldsen Bugge that are leading the charge at Hadeland. And they are making ripples on the international scene.
Her light installation at the Norwegian opera house in Bjørvika weighs in at 8.5 tons, and is comprised of close to 6000(!!!) individual crystals. Under her leadership the pendant was handblown and assembled at the factory before being mounted 16 meters above the main stage in Oslo. It stands today as an architectural marvel, and the largest pendant installation in the Nordics.
Bugge is also the creator behind the Crystal Ball lighting series. Each piece in this series is bespoke and customizable. When designing your own unique version, you can choose between multiple decorative styles, shades and sizes. The pendants are still hand blown today using the same technique of 250 years past, and diamond etched in-house.
When visiting the glassworks, the highlight for us was definitely the opportunity to see the studio itself in action. If you’re game, you’ll have a chance to try your hand at glass blowing using traditional techniques, and can create your own work of art to take home. And if you find it’s better to leave the craft to the professionals, you can always visit the shops and outlets. Personally I stuffed half my suitcase full.
Step into the shoes of the artisans behind the products. Here at the Studio at Hadeland Glassworks you can watch the professionals in action, and even try your own hand at glassblowing!
There is something so fundamentally awe-inspiring for me when I think of a brand that has such a rich and long history as Hadeland. And while it may be traditional, it is anything but stale. Instead their designs marry tradition with modernity, and as such delight.
Now, who wants to take a wager as to why we’re shining the spotlight on this classic Norwegian producer this month? It has long been a dream of mine to be able to include some of these precious works from a brand I grew up with and love, in our humble little shop.
I won't say more just yet, but stay tuned to learn more about what is to come!