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A glowing story

Orrefors Park

A glowing story

In Orranäs Glassworks you walk on historical ground. Close your eyes for a moment and try to listen for what is no longer heard, but still exists.

The smithy’s bar iron hammer was heard here as early as 1726, and in 1898, 172 years later, the first glass furnace was lit. It was a hive of activity from early morning to late evening. At 4 o’clock in the morning, the Masters were awakened by the ‘Hyttluarna’. The young boys had the thankless task of making sure the Masters got to work. Tired and a bit grumpy in the morning, the Masters then traveled the almost 200 meters by horse and cart from the Stable Palace at the mill to the glassworks. Because that’s how it should be, the Masters were the rock stars of the time and were cherished in every conceivable way. The horses were then given other tasks during the day, pulling overcrowded wagons of wood that were stacked all over the factory. The glass making process required large amounts of wood. Huge amounts in fact. And it is available in Småland. Some sounds from that time have faded, but others have taken over.

1726 – Orrefors ironworks

In 1726, Lars Johan Silfversparre was granted a privilege to build an ironworks on the Orranäs estate. The ironworks was named Orrefors and included a blast furnace, a hammer forge and a billet forge. During the latter part of the 18th century, the mill was expanded with a nail forge. In the middle of the 19th century, Orrefors was Kalmar County’s largest bar ironworks. Although there was bog ore around Orrefors, this was not enough, so rock ore was shipped from Bergslagen.

1841 – The hammer forge is put into use.

In 1841, after a fire, a new hammer forge and spark cabin were built. It was expanded with another hammer and a so-called “double furnace” was purchased to reduce coal consumption. The new hammer became a rack hammer for forging bar iron while the old one was used as a melting hammer. Orrefors was a modern ironworks with the latest in iron production, such as a blowing machine, blast furnace, roasting furnace and a franche-comté furnace, which was a covered double furnace.

1925 – The World Exhibition in Paris.

Orrefors presented its new engraved glass to the Swedish public at the Art and Industry Exhibition in Gothenburg in 1923, but the international breakthrough for the Orrefors glassworks came at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1925. In Britain, the term “Swedish grace” was coined as a kind of Swedish version of Art Deco. Before the Second World War, several renowned artists lived and worked at Orrefors: Simon Gate, Edward Hald, Vicke Lindstrand, Edvin Öhrström, Nils Landberg and Sven Palmqvist.

2017 – Opening of Orrefors Park.

The ambition has been to manage the knowledge and craftsmanship but in a modern context. And to offer new types of experiences in a fantastic environment.

The unique Grail technology developed in 1916 is now being taken forward artistically and technically by master glassblower Johan Nilsson and Amy Krüger as creative director. And in the unique hut, you can get so close that the art really heats up your face, experience how the beautiful art objects are created.

In connection with Orranäs Glassworks you will also find a well-stocked ice cream shop, a café, an exhibition hall, a museum with a collection of unique glass art objects and the ironworks museum Hammarsmedjan.

During spring, summer and early autumn, Orranäs Glassworks offers an experience program with food, music, activities and guided tours.

2020- Burning passion for the future.

Orranäs Glassworks is largely the result of one man’s dream. Or should we say “of an enthusiast with a burning passion”? Business leader and entrepreneur Ingemar Andersson has always held the area of his childhood close to his heart, and with Orranäs Glasbruk he wanted to create new history for the village.

When the glassworks and park opened, a whole village got involved. Together they have dug, built, planted, baked, guided and found ways to create a place for new experiences. In record time, Sweden’s first outdoor glassworks was built and the small Orranäs Glassworks moved in. Around it, a park was created for both use and enjoyment. Plants that clean the soil from the old glassworks’ emissions are combined with places for play, activities and relaxation.

Design, sustainability and genuine craftsmanship are at the heart of Orranäs Glassworks. From the smallest plant in the ecopark and locally produced food, to recycling glass into new glass mass.

The glow of the glassworks’ furnaces connects past and present in Orrefors. But it is also proof of the passion that has always existed in Orrefors – people’s commitment to their village and the desire to offer every visitor a memorable experience.

2023 – A tragedy strikes on June 12

The fire that destroyed our young glass studio in Orrefors on June 12, 2023 was an accident. Despite the efforts of the fire brigade, the building could not be saved and everything was lost. No one was injured in the blaze. It affected the whole community and those who had invested time and money in the glassworks.

Several months of uncertainty and grief followed. In November, owner Ingemar Andersson decided that the fire would only be a chapter in our history.

2024 – A new glass studio is being planned…