Kosta Boda

Kosta is the mother of all glassworks, where glass has been manufactured since 1742. Here you can find trendy art glass alongside exclusive, hand-blown glassware. It’s here that Bertil Vallien casts his works in sand. It’s here that new artists and designers have tried out their wings over the years. The latest in the series is scholarship winner Ellen Ekh Åkesson. The interplay between artists and skilful glassblowers in the blowing room has been the trademark of this glassworks for many years.

The name of Kosta and its location out in the dark pine forest have their own history – two county governors created a glassworks between Växjö and Kalmar, the towns they lived in. Their surnames, Stael von Holstein and Koskull, gave the glassworks its name: Ko-sta. And a community soon grew up around the glassworks. Today, Kosta is the largest glassworks in Sweden, and has manufactured both Kosta Boda and Orrefors brands.

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The development of the glassworks

The glassblowers initially came from the province of German Bohemia. It took many decades before Swedes learned to blow glass. At the Stockholm Exhibition in 1897, Kosta was criticised because its glass was very similar to that created in the rest of Europe. This gave rise to the idea of employing designers.

And just one year later in 1898, the first designer, Gunnar G:son Wennerberg, was employed at the glassworks. Since then, many well-known designers have been associated with Kosta, and the glassworks still develops its range by working with its own designers.

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