After studies in industrial design at the College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, which included winning a coveted Orrefors scholarship year in 1982, Erika Lagerbielke committed her special talents to the company. For more than two decades, she has designed glass for Orrefors that wins praise from critics and collectors alike. Erika has produced a body of work in sculpture, art and functional glass collections that connect the enduring Orrefors traditions of elegance and innovation in design with contemporary styles and tastes: rich color and bold cut detail are characteristic of her designs. Among Erika's major artistic successes are her Intermezzo, Merlot and Difference stemware, all of which have won Excellent Swedish Design awards. Her work is in the permanent collections of the National Museum of Fine Arts, Stockholm; Rohasska Museum of Applied Arts and other collections worldwide.
As early as 1726, Lars Johan Silversparre received permission to build a furnace and a smithy at "the beautiful river that flows into Lake Orrenas". The iron works was given the name Orrefors, which means "the Orre waterfall".
Orrefors' international breakthrough came at the Paris Exhibition of 1925. From the Hotel de Ville, the Town Hall of Paris, the Swedish pavilion borrowed a magnificent glass goblet designed by Simon Gate that had been presented as a gift to the City of Paris from the City of Stockholm in 1922. The goblet became a sensation, and the prestigious Grand Prix award was given to Orrefors and its designers. The glassblowers and engravers received gold medals. Many of the imposing glas objects from Orrefors were created for special occasions, or to special order. The motifs in the engraved glass of that period may seem somewhat grandiloquent today, but the technique was consummately realized through skilled craftsmanship and the light, clear quality of the glass.
The ambition for all glass from Orrefors is the highest possible quality and exquisite design. This is the same objective that applied more than eighty years ago, when Johan Ekman traveled the long road through the forest, past the quiet farms behind their stonewalls...
And if you have once traveled this road, through dark spruce forests, across the open meadows, past the stone walls, past the shining lakes and the sparking brooks, you too will understand what makes it all possible. This where the world's most beautiful glass is created.
Crystal Classics is the largest independent retailer of Orrefors Crystal in the U.S.