HISTORY of Orrefors
Orrefors Glassworks was founded in 1898 on the same site where ironworks 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 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.
Edward Hald 1883-1980
Nils Tove Edward Hald, ceramist, glass artist and painter, was born in Stockholm. After graduating in Stockholm in 1903, he studied at the Leipzig School of Economics and worked as an office official in London until 1905. He returned to Germany where he studied at the architectural school; painting at the Rhodes Painting School in Copenhagen and Stockholm; and finally 1908-09 with Matisse in Paris.
Between 1917-24, Edward designed for the Rörstrands Porslinsfabrik, and Orrefors Glasbruk where he later became artistic director and chief executive officer. From 1925-33 he went to Karlskrona Porslinsfabrik where he designed for their home range, dishes, boxes, ashtrays and cigarette cups etc., often in crisp colours decorated with gold.
Edward Hald participated in many exhibitions in pre war Stockholm, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Paris, London, Brussels, and New York. He was awarded the Grand Prix in Paris in 1925 and Prince Eugen Medal in 1945. His art is represented at the National Museum, the Röhsska Museum in Gothenburg and several other Swedish and international museums.