Only a handful of glass manufacturers have employees who do both, design and the real work on the ovens with the pipes. Kosta group certainly does not. And that’s where I have a problem with. No, not with the fact that the designers don’t work on the pipes, but with the tremendous overrating of their designers. Surely, they design some beautiful things. But what do they do other than make some drawings on paper?? The real artists are the ones who stand and sit in the factories and transform into reality what the designers brought onto paper. They are the ones without whom the designers would never ever have earned fame and money. And they appear nowhere… That’s my problem with the Kosta group. I wouldn’t mind at all if there wouldn’t be posters and signs in all sizes with the faces of the designers next to each glass object. They are a real pet peeve for me. Mainly the new objects in the exhibition halls of these three companies (or Kosta group): nothing, absolutely nothing would be produced if the glass blowers wouldn’t know how to handle the glass and the raw materials and how to make it possible that the ducks and other animals sit or look out from bottoms of vases and glasses.
The real artists are the ones at the ovens. And I am wondering if the wages of the glass blowers reflect this, compared to the fortune, the designers and the marketing guys make....
I just had to get this off my chest…..
The glass pass is an investment which definitely pays off, no matter how long you will stay in the region (and visit shops). It costs only 95 SEK (2009) and allows you free entrance to any of the glass factories, a 10% discount on any purchase above 500 SEK, plus discounts at many other shops, museums, accommodation, restaurants, activities (like blowing glass on your own) and for the famous hyttsill, which is a tradional evening meal with herring (sill = herring) in the factory. Have a look at Kingdom of Crystal’s website where you can download the offers as pdf. Take into account that the famous glass manufacturers will charge for a visit in their factories: Kosta, Boda, Åfors and Orrefors charge 30 SEK and Nybro charges 40 SEK without the pass. I was very grateful for the existence of this pass because it saved me approx. 1000 SEK, but then I was in the region for 3 days and drove all the way from home and back with a car to be able and buy loads to bring home (I would never have done this otherwise but would have flown and rented a car in Sweden only).
It might be a different story if you are coming as family with kids. Maybe. Just do some maths and you will know if the pass is a good idea for you. And consider that you will buy more than you originally planned to do, no matter if you come by car or by plane or train and have the goods shipped to your home. It is a law of nature, haha.
The Kingdom of Crystal’s website is a wealth of information. Here you can also download the 42 page (10 MB) brochure about the activities, the individual glass factories, the places to stay and eat and a map with the locations. This brochure is available in Swedish, German and English as download and in several other languages to order online. The website itself comes in ten different languages: Swedish, Finnish, English, German, French, Italian, Russian, Polish, Dutch and Japanese.
Fondest memory: Currency converter.
A tradition that lives on throughout the country.
In the middle of August, the Swedes will gather with their friends to enjoy a meal of Crayfish, schnapps (a kind of vodka), songs, paper hats with crayfish designs and decorations in the form of paper lanterns sporting the man in the moon.
The twin green copper SPIRES are Växjö's best known landmark.
The CATHEDRAL dates from the late 12th Century.
The church exhibits works of art in GLASS, WOOD AND WROUGHT IRON.
A VIKING rune stone from the 12th Century can be found at the cathedral's eastern wall.
Open: 9AM - 5PM
Tel. 0470-70 48 24
Fondest memory: JUST ROAMING ABOUT....
and now thinking: there is so much I haven't seen that I MUST go back there.....
I shall add here a little plan on which you can see where these workshops are situated.
Left hand side you see the city of VäXJö and on the righthand side the city of NYBRO AND IN BETWEEN these two lots of places where you can visit!
Do enjoy it to the full, it is great!
Fondest memory: THE GLASSBLOWING......