Vicke Lindstrand: A Legend in Glass

Vicke Lindstrand (1904-1983)

Born Victor Emanuel Lindstrand on 27 November, 1904 in Gothenburg, he was an avid artist from an early age. Lindstrand studied commercial art and began a career in commercial illustration before approaching the glass manufacturer Orrefors in 1928.

After two years’ experience, working independently alongside Edward Hald and Simon Gate, Lindstrand made his debut as a budding designer at the Stockholm World Fair in 1930. Here, he presented twelve glass vases elaborately decorated with exotic designs in enamel décor. With these, he caught the attention of design publications worldwide.

'Cirkus', Orrefors, 1930s

'Mingus', Martini pitcher, Orrefors

While at Orrefors, Lindstrand worked on engraved glass and Graal vases. In collaboration with sculptor Edvin Öhrström, he developed the new Ariel technique (named by his actress wife Kristina).

Pearl Fishers, 'Parlfiskaren', Orrefors, 1931

With the advent of WWII, Orrefors could not afford to continue to employ Lindstrand as a designer. Subsequently, between 1943 and 1950, he became creative leader at Uppsala Ekeby, where he moved into stoneware design, creating many different objects, ranging from pots to figural sculptures.

After this short stint with ceramics, he returned to glass design. In 1950, he joined Kosta Glasbruk as an artistic director, now a mature and self-assured artist. At Kosta, he was the dominant designer, lending his name to many now classic designs. At this point, Lindstrand began to inject more and more colour into his creations, which resulted in iconic designs such as Trees in the Fog and Autumn.

Kosta vases, Vicke Lindstrand, Kosta Glasbruk, circa 1960s

Lindstrand remained with Kosta for 23 years, retiring in 1973. For the remaining 10 years of his life, he worked as a freelance artist next to Hanne Dreutler and Arthur Zirrnsack at Studio Glashyttan in Åhus, Skåne County, Sweden.

Vicke Lindstrand died 7 May, 1983 in Kosta, a region that has become known as the ‘Kingdom of Crystal’.